Follow the Wild Mushrooms to the Fungus Fair, January 29


When the first rains tease up the porcini and chanterelles, Bay Area fungus lovers head to the Fungus Fair. This year’s fair is coming up on Sunday, January 29 at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill. Presentations and activities feature exciting speakers on topics that run from science and medicine to cooking, art, and pure outdoor enjoyment. Speakers this year include naturalist and photographer Alan Rockefeller, mycology professor Brian Perry, herbalist and mycologist Christopher Hobbs, scientist and educator Damon Tighe, biologist and mycologist Gordon Walker, artist and naturalist Jack Laws, biologist and educator JR Blair, and children’s book author Melany Kahn, who will give a reading and lead a foray for kids.

A perennial highlight of the fair is the latest collection of expertly identified fungi that have been collected in various locations around the Bay Area. These annual collections constitute a 50-year record of the early winter fungal diversity in our area. This historical information may become an important contribution to science as climate change affects our local ecosystems.


  • 10am: Fungus Fair Begins
  • 10:15–11:30am: Christopher Hobbs, PhD: Medicinal Mushrooms, the Essential Guide
  • 10:30am–1pm: John Muir Laws: Drawing Mushrooms Workshop, age 12+
  • 11–11:30am: Melany Kahn: Children’s Foray
  • 11:45am–12:45 pm: Brian Perry, PhD: Documenting Fungal Diversity
  • 12–12:30pm: Karen Rusiniak: Mushroom Sunprint Workshop, ages 6+
  • 1–2pm: Gordon Walker, PhD:  Why Fungi are so Fascinating? An Overview of the Fungal Kingdom
  • 1:15–1:45pm: Melany Kahn: Book Reading: Mason Goes Mushrooming
  • 2–4:30pm: J.R. Blair: Beginning Mushroom ID Workshop, ages 12+
  • 2:15–3:30pm: Alan Rockefeller, Bioluminescent Mushrooms
  • 3–3:30pm: Melany Kahn: Children’s Foray
  • 3–4pm: Carol Reed: Mushroom Snowflake Workshop
  • 3:45–5pm: Damon Tighe: Mushrooms of Lake Merritt
  • 5pm: Fungus Fair ends

Mycological Society of San Francisco Fungus Fair
Sunday, January 29, 10am to 5pm
Diablo Valley College, Horticulture Department
321 Golf Club Road, Pleasant Hill
More info.
Tickets: Purchase with cash at the door or get through the admission gate fast with an EventBrite ticket.


Try this Pasta with Chanterelles recipe from Mason Goes Mushrooming

Reprinted with permission. All materials copyright © 2022 Melany Kahn. All rights reserved. All illustrations by Ellen Korbonski.