Find out more about the incredible diversity of the region’s mushrooms at the annual South Vancouver Island Mycological Society Mushroom Show on Sunday.
As local interest in mushrooms has grown, so has the annual show. It has moved to a new larger location at the Cordova Bay 55+ Association centre. The show has also expanded to include educational presentations, a medicinal mushroom display, mushroom growing kits as well as books and calendars for sale.
More than 200 labelled mushroom species will be on display and mycologists will be in attendance to discuss what makes mushrooms do the things they do. Society members spend the days before the show collecting specimens from throughout the region to showcase the broad range of what grows on the South Island.
Each year the variety of mushrooms on display changes as they are affected by rainfall and temperature. Each year a few rarely seen species are on display, non-native species crop up and occasionally something new is discovered.
Club members will be cooking freshly picked wild mushrooms, including chanterelles and pine mushrooms, for the visitors to taste.
Visitors to the show are invited to bring mushrooms from their own yards and neighbourhoods for identification and to find out more about the mushroom lifecycle. To have a species identified, collect the entire mushroom, including the base and a bit of the growing surface, and wrap it in wax paper to protect its features. It is recommended to note the mushroom’s growing environment as well as what other plants and trees are in the area.
A medicinal mushroom display will feature mushrooms used in traditional Chinese medicine, as well as those used for other ethnomycological purposes. A mycologist will also review other interesting ways that humans use fungi for food and medicine.
There will be presentations throughout the day that are tailored to those new to world of mushrooms.
Shiitake and oyster mushroom growing kits will be for sale along with a variety of mushroom reference books. The SVIMS 2017 calendar is available for $15, featuring 14 mushroom photographs and illustrations taken by society members.
The annual South Vancouver Island Mycological Society mushroom show will be held Sunday at the Cordova Bay 55+ Association centre, 5238 Cordova Bay Rd., from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is by donation. See www.svims.ca for more information about SVIMS membership and events.