The Asheville Mushroom Club formed after a WNC Nature Center mushroom-identification class in l983. Originally, the club had only four members; now it numbers 150. As the membership has grown, the club has consistently pursued the objectives of providing fellowship with others who share an interest in fungi, while providing opportunities for education and access to resources like the North American Mycological Association.
While the club consists of a wide range of knowledgeable people—some self-taught, others formally educated through the PhD level—it remains a loosely organized group of folks with a common interest in fun and fungi. Members with all levels of expertise enjoy the social interaction and learning experiences.
As Arnie Cremer—a charter member who is still very active in the club—states, “What keeps people coming back is the continual learning everyone can achieve, [from] a newbie to PhD, with new and uncataloged varieties of fungi constantly being found, identified and named.”
With the world of fungi being the common thread, the very diverse membership takes part in presentations from experts on such topics as fungi identification, medicinal uses, safety in the woods, edible fungi recognition and how to prepare for mushroom “hunts,” which the club calls forays. The forays include impromptu identification exercises that allow for open exchanges, stories, tips on cooking and preserving and much more. For more information on AMC, call 298-9988 or visit www.ashevillemushroomclub.com.