First winter meeting and potluck lunch: Sat., Jan. 9, Noon

Location: Home of Paula Peters in Nary, 26012 Co. Rd. 9, Bemidji. County 9 is around 5 miles south of US 2. Nary is 2 miles east on Co. 9.

We will start with a potluck lunch. Bring something to share. Following lunch there will be a general membership business meeting, during which we will set future meeting and Foray dates. We will also be looking at program topics for the winter meetings. Please come prepared to share your ideas about programs, and you may offer additional agenda items.

Message from Audrey Kepp, President

Here is a message from our President.  Some highlights:

  • There will be no Fall Banquet.
  • There are plans to have annual “End-of-Season galas” in the future:  following the last foray of the season, a special  pot-luck.
  • Forays will be scheduled on Saturdays and will start at 10 AM.
  • First winter meeting will be Sat., January 9.


Paul Bunyan Mushroom club’s last foray of the season was at Bemidji State Park.  We had good weather, and in spite of recent dry weather, a fair assortment of fungi were gathered. We concluded the season with a potluck meal and social hour.

Your executive committee met and considered a few issues.  First, we have reluctantly abandoned the traditional fall Banquet.  The cost was just too prohibitive, and many members indicated that they would not want to pay close to $50 dollars a plate.  Everyone enjoyed our potluck so much that we decided to make that our end-of-season gala from now on.  It will be held in conjunction with our last foray of the year.  Everyone can choose to attend the foray, the potluck, or both.  Second, our meeting time and day will move to Saturdays at 10:00 A.M.  Some members had requested a later time, as several people have to come a long way.  Moving the meeting day to Saturday will make it possible for people with Sunday commitments to join the fun.  Of course we can still schedule forays at other times when appropriate.

Our first winter meeting will be January 9, 2016.  Paula Peters will host the meeting at her house.  Members will get an email with particulars in December.  There will be a general membership business meeting. We will set future meeting and Foray dates. We will also be looking at program topics for the winter meetings.  Please come prepared to share your ideas about programs, and you may offer additional agenda items.

We are celebrating a growing membership and an infusion of new blood.  I need to express my appreciation for the experience mushroom hunters among us who generously teach the rest of us.  I am also excited about the new members who add so much to our gatherings.  Thank you all.

Audrey Kepp, President

Last Foray of the Season — October 4th Bemidji State Park

final foray 2015We had a great final foray October 4th at Bemidji State park.

Pictured are Anita Linberger, Kae Bergeson, Paula Peters and Sheila Capistran.

The changing leaves were beautiful and the weather perfect for mushroom foraging.

Michael Blassey and Catherine McGoldrick started a fire in fireplace in the Dining hall for us as they were camping there along with new members Ray Holm and Sandy Sonja .
They scouted out he area and directed us to some fine picking!

20 people participated and we found a nice variety, quite a few edibles as well including Suillus cavipe and Suillus spraguei, Cantharellus tubaeformis and Craterellus fallax.

We spent an hour and a half tromping through the woods then came back to the dining hall and enjoyed an impressive pot luck full of succulent dishes of every variety.

We mushroom foragers definitely know how to cook!

Sad to see the season end.

Paula Peters

Club in the News

The day’s bounty yielded a wide variety of mushrooms. Russula, seen in the foreground, comprised the largest portion. There are about 1,000 species of russula, explained John Mikesh, that can only be distinquished by their dust-like spores under a microscope. Even though they are favored in eastern Europe, they typically aren’t eaten in Minnesota. Some have a mild taste, some chalky. Russula are pickled and eaten as a Christmas treat in Siberia. (Shannon Geisen)

Incredible edibles: Paul Bunyan Mushroom Club studies fungi

Here’s the address for the full article:

Thank you to Shannon Geisen for the nice article!

Meet the Board of Directors

President: Audrey Kepp 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAudrey is a retired teacher who lives in Bemidji. As a child, she hated mushrooms. To be fair, her only experience with mushrooms was canned soup. Her interest in wild foods led her to give mushrooms a second chance, and a friend at White Earth introduced her to morels. She was hooked and graduated to puffballs and shaggy manes. Finding beautiful, fascinating mushrooms as she roamed the woods foraging berries and herbs, she realized she needed the guidance of experienced people. She joined Paul Bunyan Mushroom Club, and the rest is delicious history.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAVice President: Michael Blassey

Michael is a refocused middle school teacher. He spends his time dabbling in various citizen science projects. He lives in Merrifield, MN, south of Crosslake.  “My first encounters with mushrooms were looking through many glass jars in my grandmother’s pantry. I’ve been a forager ever since.”


Secretary: Rosa Stolzenberg

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARosa is a retired USDA Microbiologist living in Fargo with a cabin south of Nevis, Minn. She grew up picking mushrooms with family in West Virginia. She worked two years with the commercial mushroom Agaricus bisporus with the USDA in Maryland.

“I have been picking mushrooms near the cabin and on our tree farms prior to joining the Paul Bunyan Mushroom group in the early 1990’s, and was also involved in a short-lived NDSU mushroom group. I am a member of the Minnesota Mycological Society, North American Mycological Association, served as a NAMA trustee, and have attended 15 NAMA forays.”

“My favorite mushroom is the chanterelle.”


Treasurer: Mary Mitchell

mary mitchell 5-15Mary lives in Bemidji and has been interested in mushrooms since she was in her twenties. She was a founding member of the FunGis Mushroom Club in North Dakota and has been a member of the Minnesota Mycological Society and the North American Mycological Society. Her favorite mushroom is the Tawny Grisette (Amanita fulva).

Past President: Paula Peters

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPaula founded the Paul Bunyan Mushroom Club along with John Mikesh. “We thought, why go to Minneapolis to learn about mushrooms when we have so much forest all around us? Anna Gerenday was instrumental in helping us for many years and to this day I still hear her voice pronouncing the scientific names of the mushrooms we find! I began to learn, as many do, about morels in the early 1980’s, and happened upon the Minnesota group at Deep Portage Conservation Reserve where I met John. I have enjoyed meeting all of the people who have joined us in our journey to know more about the forest and learned much from all of them. I am so happy our club is now ‘official’ and I hope that for many years we can continue to offer education and a fun experience to those seekers of fungi! Our club had many forays in the Akeley area where I once lived. I moved on to Walker and now I live South of Bemidji on 5 acres in the country where I can never have enough flowers, and a vegetable garden. My favorite mushroom would probably be the Hydnum repandum. I love the nutty flavor. But there are so many others as well! I hope to learn some new ones yet this season.”


First 2015 Foray: Morel Foray at Hwy 64 North of Akeley Sun., May 17; and Note from new President

The Paul Bunyan Mushroom Club is entering a new era, thanks to a dedicated group who worked through the winter to help us organize a streamlined and, we hope, more cohesive club. New officers have been elected and plans made for this season’s forays. Our new roster of officers includes Paula Peters as past president, Audrey Kepp as president, Michael Blassey as vice president, Rosa Stolzenberg as secretary, and Mary Mitchell as treasurer. As your new president, I am delighted to work with them. As a newer member (I joined just a year ago,) I have to express my great pleasure in in being part of this wonderful club and thank you all for your support.

Our first foray will be Sunday, May 17th at 9 a.m. north of Akeley on Hwy 64. The directions are included below. This message is being sent to everyone on our email list, but in the future, our messages will be sent to members only. If you wish to receive future notices you must join the club. Membership is just $10 for individuals and $15 for families. You can join by downloading a membership form from the club blog (  (click on Membership Form on banner above, just under photo) and mailing it with payment to:
Mary Mitchell
311 Richards Ave NE
Bemidji, MN 56601

Better yet, bring it with you to the foray on the 17th. Paula Peters, who will lead the foray, will collect it then.

Looking forward to meeting you!


Directions to May 17, 9 AM Morel Foray:
State Hwy 64, 11 miles north of Akeley or 4 miles south of intersection 200 and 64 south of Bemidji.
It is between mile markers 59 and 60 and will be on the east side of Hwy 64.


Annual Meeting and Potluck 11 AM Sun., April 26 at Helga Township Hall, Nary

11 AM Sunday, April 26, Helga Township Hall, Nary (south of Bemidji, on County Hwy 9, 2 miles east of US 71)

This is the year the Paul Bunyan Mushroom Club becomes officially organized!
Our winter meetings were spent working out the details and we are now ready to bring our Club to the next level.

It’s very exciting and we hope that you will consider joining us as we meet for our Annual Potluck on April 26th at 11:00 a.m. at the Helga Township Community Center 25895 County 9. Bemidji, MN. From Bemidji, travel four miles south of the Highway 2/Highway 71 intersection and turn east (left) onto Hubbard County Road 9. The Center is located two miles down on the right. We will have our Annual Meeting first, followed by the potluck.

The food doesn’t have to include mushrooms, but if you want to make a dish with them, that’s great! The Center is equipped with a kitchen with ovens, a microwave and a refrigerator to keep food warm or cold.

We will be nominating and electing our officers so please consider becoming more involved in the club this year. We will need a President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. Along with the election we will go over the Foray dates for the upcoming season, and take memberships. Becoming a member will not only keep you informed of Forays and educational opportunities – you’ll be part of a really cool bunch of people who love the woods and want to learn more about identifying wild mushrooms.
(For a copy of the membership form, click on “Membership Form” on the banner above, below the photo.)

Organizational meeting Sun., Feb. 22, 1 PM, Akeley Fire Hall

Great News!

The Paul Bunyan Mushroom Club now has a Tax ID number and bank account! This makes us an “Official Club” As of February 3rd 2015!



Our meeting in January was fun and productive. We formed committees to work on organization, education, forays and events. And…we had an amazing potluck meal!

At our next meeting on February 22 we’ll refine our plans and we welcome anyone interested in helping us.

February Meeting: 1 PM Sunday February 22 at the Akeley Fire Hall, Main Street, Akeley MN
Please enter through the left side of the building.
And…don’t forget to bring something to share for the pot luck!

Organizational Meeting Sun., Jan. 11, Akeley Fire Hall

Happy Holidays to all participants of past wild mushroom forays with the Paul Bunyan Mushroom Club!

As we look forward to another great year of mushroom hunting, our club is working to become more organized.

We are asking for help in this process so that we can offer more education, fun events and recognition as an official club.

We have a meeting scheduled for Sunday, January 11th at 1 PM at the Akeley Fire Hall which is located about a block west of the big Paul Bunyan statue on Hwy 34 downtown Akeley. We will have a pot luck lunch followed by the meeting.

We are hoping to set up the following committees:

  • An Organizational  Committee to work on setting up by laws, a mission statement, establishing a bank account, defining roles of elected officials, planning an election for 2015, and issues related to membership dues
  • A Committee to work on the format of the remaining winter meetings (once a month, February through APRIL)
  • A Foray Committee to plan the forays for next summer.
  • An Educational Committee to help our members gain skills in identification at forays.
  • A Fundraising Committee to help plan events like the silent auction,  possible basic identification classes, weekend events, speakers at meetings.
  • A Communications Committee to work on how we get the word out to others about our club and activities.

If you are interested but can’t attend the meeting, please email me and I will get you connected with others working on these areas.

With the increased interest and new people attending our events, our club is poised for growth and potential in the New Year.

Please join us as the Paul Bunyan Mushroom Club moves into 2015!

Paula Peters, Acting President 

“Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.”
—– A. A. Milne