JOIN NAMA & YOUR LOCAL MUSHROOM CLUB

The most efficient way to learn about fungi is to join a local mushroom club. It members, whether experienced teachers and students of mycology or beginners, will all be able to convey to the novice important information and cautions that must be observed by anyone hoping to acquire knowledge about local fungi, especially if they are interested in foraging for edibles. Supplementing the experience of attending guided mushroom walks, it is advisable that you also aquire several field guides that feature fungi common to your region of the country. Several are needed because no one field guide covers all the close to 2,000 fungi you are likely to encounter over the course of one or several years. To help you with this endeavor, I have included an extensive list of field guide recommendations. In addition to those that cover the most common fungi you are likely to come across, I have included specialist books and monographs for those of you who may become interested in learning about mushrooms in a particular family or genus.


The North American Mycological Association (NAMA)

As a member of any one of the other 80 N.A. associated clubs, you are eligible to also become a member of NAMA, the    North American Mycological Association (NAMA) at a reduced annual rate of $25. NAMA members are eligible to attend their annual and regional forays, receive the bi-monthly newsletter, The Mycophile, featuring articles on mushrooms, cultivation, medicinal mushrooms, dyeing with fungi, toxicology reports, prize-winning photos, national forays and a host of other fascinating topics. NAMA also lists contact information on all of the associated clubs in the U.S. and Canada. You can join NAMA through PayPal at www.namyco.org/join/index.html.


THE PIONEER VALLEY MYCOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION (PVMA)*!

If you live in western MA, I urge you to join the Pioneer Valley Mycological Association. Annual membership is just $15 per person or $25 per family household of two or more individuals and covers the period between January 1 and December 31 of any given year. First time members who apply for membership after October 1 are automatically given membership for the remaining current year and the following year. This generous offer does not apply to previously enrolled members whose membership lapsed for one or more years.

Non-members who are interested in taking one of our walks are invited to do so for free the first walk. If they need more time to consider, they are welcome to join us for any walk at just $5 per person. After three paid walks, you automatically become a member for the current year!

Joining the PVMA is an easy 2-step process.

1. Pay for your annual membership in the PVMA by credit card or a PayPal account using the options below under 'MEMBERSHIP CATEGORIES’.* 

Individual $15.00 USD

Family of 2 or more $25.00 USD 

FUNGIKINGDOM Spring Workshop Series $85.00 USD (+ annual membership fee)

Membership Categories


* If you prefer to pay by check, please fill out and print the PVMA Membership Registration Form and mail with your payment to PVMA President, Michael Ostrowski at 27 East Street, South Hadley MA 01075.2. Complete the registration form and press the SUBMIT button at the bottom of the form.

MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS

As a member of the PVMA you will receive our newsletters, information about participating in our spring session of FungiKingdom workshops, and a list of our scheduled walk dates, locations, directions and walk leader contacts. Most walks take place on Sundays and on some Saturdays at 1:00 PM. Guided walks by Dianna Smith are also offered on weekdays at 10:00 AM. Whenever possible, we will send you an email a few days prior to any walk as a reminder.

Walks are canceled only when severe thunderstorms are predicted or when the region has experienced a series of weeks of dry weather. Notice of a walk cancellation or of an extra weekday 'Pop-Up Walk' will be posted on the Pioneer Valley Mycological Association's Facebook page. Note that a last-minute notice might appear as late as a day prior to the ‘Pop-up Walk’. We urge all members to join this page on Facebook for the most up-to-date scheduling information as well as information of fungi-related classes, visits by guest mycologists, and other special events. We hope you will post photos of what you find throughout the year on our Facebook site as well. We will all do our best to help you identify mushrooms and other fungi you are not familiar with. 

*The PVMA was started in the spring of 2013 South Hadley resident Michael Ostrowski and Dianna Smith of Northampton to meet the interests of residents in Western MA for a local mushroom club. Our aim is to provide ongoing education on fungi, information on identification of edible and poisonous mushrooms, guided mushroom walks, lectures, newsletters, information on multi-day regional and national forays and other opportunities to enhance your knowledge and appreciation of the fungal kingdom (See FungiKingdom University series of workshops). 


TO JOIN the Connecticut-Westchester Mycological Association (COMA)

If you live in Westchester NY, you definitely will want to join COMA, the club that introduced me to fungi. The Connecticut-Westchester Mycological Association (COMA) was founded in 1976 by a group of people in Connecticut and NY who wanted to explore the world of mushrooms and to learn and share knowledge about the science of mycology. It continues to be a positive force in advancing knowledge of mycology in the community.

MEMBERSHIP: Membership for 2017 is $25 for both individuals and for family members residing in the same household. Membership entitles you to receive the following benefits: 

• Notification of member-only spring morel walks. 

• Eligibility to attend Mushroom University. 

• Eligibility to apply for the Sylvia Stein Scholarship. 

• Invitation to attend the fall banquet. 

• Receipt of Spores Illustrated, the COMA newsletter. 

To join COMA visit http://www.comafungi.org.

MUSHROOM UNIVERSITY: This is COMA’s premier members-only program for those who want to deepen their understanding and appreciation of the fungal world. Participants meet on 6 Saturdays in March and April for interactive classes with well-known mycologist and author of numerous field guides, Gary Lincoff. Other guest experts are often invited to round out the focus, which is on a different group of fungi annually. This very popular COMA offering takes place at Muscoot Farm, Katonah, NY.  

SYLVIA STEIN SCHOLARSHIP: This scholarship provides financial support to outstanding applicants wishing to advance and share their knowledge of mycology by attending a mycology-related educational event such as the Northeastern Mycological Federation’s annual foray, COMA’s foray or mycology classes. Applicants must be a current member of COMA for at least one year and are expected to actively participate in mushroom identification on COMA walks. The scholarship guidelines and application maybe downloaded at www.comafungi.org/docs/scholarship.pdf.

LECTURES: The program committee schedules 4-5 evening programs each year from spring through fall. Lectures are devoted to the advancement of the science of mycology and often feature noted speakers in the field. They are held at The Meeting House in Purchase, NY and are free and open to the public.

FALL BANQUET DINNER: Our final meeting of the year is a delicious pot-luck dinner. Members bring a favorite dish sufficient to serve six to eight people. The meeting, which is open only to COMA members and their guests, is an opportunity for members to socialize before the winter sets in. It also serves as the venue for the election of the COMA officers and board for the following year.

COMA WEBSITE: We encourage you to visit our website, http://www.comafungi.org. There you will find a calendar of walks and events, photographs and lists of fungi found on the walks, forms and online payment options. You can also find COMA on Facebook at  https://www.facebook.com/groups/comafungi/.

NEWSLETTER: Our newsletter, Spores Illustrated, is emailed to members about four times a year. It can also be found on the COMA website. 

DIANNA SMITH LENDING LIBRARY: COMA has a large collection of mycology books donated by former COMA  president, Dianna Smith, that are available for lending to COMA members. See https://www.facebook.com/groups/comafungi/files/ for the list of titles. You can contact the librarian, Rena Wertzer, at renawertzer@hotmail.com to set up a time when you can browse the collection. 

CLARK ROGERSON FORAY: COMA sponsors an annual three-day weekend foray held at either at Berkshire Hills Eisenberg Camp in Copake, NY or at Easterseal Camp Hemlocks, in Hebron, Connecticut. The 2017 foray will be held in eastern Connecticut at Camp Hemlocks on Labor Day Weekend from Friday September 1 to Monday, September 4. The foray, an immersive mycological experience, features daily mushroom walks and identification, afternoon and evening lectures, and mycophagy. To attend the foray, you do not need to be a member of COMA. If interested in learning more about this adventure, check in regularly at http://www.comafungi.org for updates on registration, guest mycologists, and scheduled collection walks in the NY-MA region of the Berkshires.