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


Report on Sept. 7 Foray and Cooking Demonstration — Bemidji State Park

We had a very successful foray at Bemidji State Park, finding many varieties of mushrooms.


Paula Peters preparing people for the foray

A few of the mushrooms found


Kelly Larson did a fantastic cooking demonstration, preparing a three-course meal. The appetizer consisted of chanterelles sautéed with olive oil and minced shallots and run through a food processor with cream cheese and goat cheese, on crackers, some garnished with fig spread and mango chutney and some garnished with a slice of dried apricot.

Kelly Larson presenting her three-course meal plan Continue reading

Report on May 25 Foray

We had our first foray of the year Sat., May 25, near Ten Mile Lake, where there had been an aspen cut.. Some morels were found, but it seemed that it was still early for them. Scott Knudson from Lakeland Public TV was there doing a lot of filming for a show planned for probably some time early 2014. We’ll keep you posted on that.

Report on April 13 Pot Luck and Meeting

Our annual pot luck lunch and meeting was held April 13 at the Helga Township Community Center in Nary, south of Bemidji.  As usual, we had a good selection of dishes, many of which used mushrooms.

Getting the food ready in the Helga Twp Community Center kitchen

Presentation on Cultivation by Mike Kempenich

Anna Gerenday brought Mike Kempenich from the Twin Cities and he did an informative and fascinating presentation on mushroom cultivation. Mike is a long time mushroom hunter and cultivator and now has a business selling cultivated and collected mushrooms, The Mikeology Store (  He focuses on growing the best and most beautiful mushrooms and delivering them quickly to customers. His clients include many fine Twin Cities restaurants. Mike also manages the Minnesota Mushroom Forum on Facebook.

In the photo below he showed us a Hericium (Goat’s Beard) mushroom he cultivated in rye grain and wheat straw in a plastic bag with a filter patch to allow some air exchange.  When mycelae developed he put a hole in the bag.  And here you can see the results.

Mike Kempenich with Hericium (Goat’s Beard) he cultivated.


Kelly Larson on “The Safe Six”

Paul Bunyan Mushroom Club member Kelly Larson showed us the display and handouts she uses in a presentation on mushrooms she callsThe Safe Six.


Fall Mushroom Banquet a Great Event

Part of the group gathered at the Ranch House. Here Anna Gerenday is taking photos. Earlier she spoke about the mushrooms used.

A record number, 58 of us, gathered at the Ranch House on November 17th, 2012, for the seventh Paul Bunyan Mushroom Club Fall Banquet. It was a great success.  Some of us were members of the club, some were people who have joined us at some dinners in the past, and some were new guests interested in experiencing some fine mushroom cookery.

The Ranch House prepared a splendid dinner for us. It started with a social hour with appetizers. Most included mushrooms in their preparation.  The Green Scene, an organic produce store and deli in Walker which helped the Ranch House in planning some vegan alternatives, provided a delicious dip which included chaga as one of its ingredients.  As luck would have it we had a portion of the chaga that had been found on one of our summer forays to display at the dinner.

Anna Gerenday spoke to the group about the mushrooms used in the preparation of the dinner, and answered questions that people at the dinner had about the mushrooms.

The main course alternatives included “Chicken Supreme,” which included chanterelles, Oyster mushrooms surrounded by scallops and jumbo shrimps, and a vegan stuffed Portobello mushroom. A soup was served that used Maitake mushrooms, and the salad included King Trumpet mushrooms.

We are thankful to the Ranch House owner and staff for being a wonderful home for our fall mushroom banquets.