Spring Pot Luck Sat., Apr. 30, 11:30AM

Spring is finally here and we can almost taste the morels….

We’ll be gathering just south of Bemidji at the Helga Township Community Center (The Old Nary School) at 11:30 a.m.on Saturday, April 30 to enjoy some good food and talk mushrooms! Please bring a dish to share.

The highlight of our gathering will surely be a mushroom cooking demo by Catherine McGoldrick and Paula Peters. We’ll go over our foray dates and locations for the summer, starting with our morel foray in May.

The Helga Center is located at Nary, which is about 7 miles south of Bemidji. From 71, go east on County Hwy 9 for 2-3 miles. The Center is on the south side of the road. See you there!

Pot Luck Meeting Sat., March 26, 11:30 AM

We’ll have a potluck meeting at noon at the home of member John Mikesh to discuss our coming forays.The agenda will be loose, there will be good food and great conversation.  Hope to see you there – directions are below.
Our April 30th meeting will be at Helga Township Hall in Nary.   We’ll start with a potluck at 11:30 AM with a mushroom cooking demonstration by Paula and Catherine.

Directions to John’s house:

Take Hwy 371 to Crow Wing County Hwy 16, one mile north of Pequot Lakes. Go 6 miles east on 16 to Ruttger Road. Go 1 mile north on Ruttger Rd to Fish Hook Pt. Take a right, then another right following 8316 signs past two houses to 8316 Fish Hook Pt.

  • County 16 is 20 miles north of Brainerd and 40 miles south of Walker.   If you need additional information, you can reach John at 218-543-4114.

Feb. 27 Meeting: Food, Fellowship and Something to Chew On

Join us at the home of John Mikesh near Pequot Lakes at noon on Saturday, Feb. 27. Bring a dish to share and any mushroom resources (books,website addresses, DVDs, etc.) you find interesting and/or helpful.

Directions to John’s House:  Take Hwy 371 to Crow Wing County Hwy 16, one mile north of Pequot Lakes. Go 6 miles east on 16 to Ruttger Road. Go 1 mile north on Ruttger Rd. to Fish Hook Pt. Take a right, then another right following 8316 signs past two houses to 8316 Fish Hook Pt.   County 16 is 20 miles north of Brainerd and 40 miles south of Walker. If you need additional information, you can reach John at 218-543-4114.

Save the dates: Future winter meetings are scheduled for March 26 and April 30. Watch for more information.

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 (http://paulbunyanmushroomclub.areavoices.com/)  (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.