Oblong Online: In Search of Mycotopia: Citizen Science, Fungi Fanatics, and the Untapped Potential of Mushrooms

Event date: 
Wednesday, March 10, 2021 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
EST via Crowdcast

This online event is free. Your purchase of a book helps support the author and our independent bookstore and is greatly appreciated. Shipping or contactless curbside pickup available.

Missed the event? WATCH IT HERE

Author Doug Bierend will talk with John Michelotti, Olga Tzogas, and Luke Sarrantonio about the current and future potential for fungi to improve our lives and heal the planet. From decontaminating landscapes and waterways to achieving food security.

Doug BierendIn Search of Mycotopia by Doug BierendJohn Michelotti, Luke Sarrantonio, Olga Tzogas

In Search of Mycotopia: Citizen Science, Fungi Fanatics, and the Untapped Potential of Mushrooms, author Doug Bierend demonstrates how humans can work with fungi to better live with nature—and with one another and introduces us to an incredible, essential, and oft-overlooked kingdom of life—fungi—and all the potential it holds for our future.

Doug Bierend is a freelance journalist writing about science and technology, food, and education, and the various ways they point to a more equitable and sustainable world. His byline appears in Wired, The Atlantic, Vice, Motherboard, The Counter, Outside Magazine, Civil Eats, and other publications.

John Michelotti is a "mushroom guy". He has been honored to study fungi with some of the top mycologists in the county and his mission is to spread the information about the benefits that fungi have to offer.  John is the President of the Mid-Hudson Mycological Association (MHMA), and a member of Connecticut Westchester Mycological (COMA), Pioneer Valley Mycological Association, and North American Mycological Association (NAMA) as well as Amazon Mycorenewal Project researching the utilization of Fungi to remediate oil spills in the Amazon Rainforest. John has visited dozens of mushroom farms from small scale operations to the largest in the country and from New England to the Tropics. He has hosted inoculation workshops in New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Texas. He is an adviser of the Mushroom Advisory Panel for Certified Naturally Grown who are developing standards for best practices in mushroom production. He resides in Big Indian, NY on the family farm where he cultivates (indoor and outdoor) mushrooms for their healthful components which he uses to create Health Extractions. 

Olga Tzogas created & operates Smugtown Mushrooms on traditional Haudenosaunee land, in the city of Rochester NY. Her journey with Fungi and plants started over ten years ago. Working with these allies by foraging in both urban & more wild settings, & learning to identify for food and medicine. A member of the Rochester Area Mycological Association, CPAMC, WPAMC & the West Virginia Mushroom Club. In 2011, Smugtown Mushrooms was established because there was a need for mushrooms & growing supplies, workshops, events & community-based science in her area. While learning more & embracing the never-ending, unlocked potential mushrooms & fungi have to help heal both people, planet & soul. Olga teaches workshops throughout the continent about wild mushroom identification, medicinal mushrooms, biology, and mushroom cultivation. She was a core organizer for the 2016 Radical Mycology Convergence and the MycoSymbiotics Festival from 2015-17.  In 2018, Olga help co-create the New Moon Mycology Summit, a justice-focused, mycology-centered event, linking many disciplines extending throughout the living world.

Luke Sarrantonio grew up in Rosendale and spent much of his childhood exploring the beautiful landscape that surrounds us here in the Hudson Valley. In college at SUNY ESF, he was blessed to work under some truly inspiring minds in the world of science and Mycology. Following his passion through travels in the Pacific Northwest and work on a Shiitake farm in the Finger Lakes region of New York, he eventually landed back in the Hudson Valley. Currently, Luke is working to develop educational programming and mushroom-based products under the name Mycophilic: for the love of Fungi.