Putting the fun in Fungi!

Over the Easter weekend we went out to Daylesford in Victoria for a Fungal Ecology Workshop with photographer and fungi enthusiast, Alison Pouliot.

Alison Pouliot

Her impressive collection of fungi was beautifully displayed around the room in their family groups, with field guides from around the world and interesting anecdotes about various species. It gave us a wonderful picture of the habitats and the diversity of fungi the world over. Best of all it enabled us to get up close and personal and to get a great sense of what’s what in the world of fungi.

Now, I thought perhaps I knew a thing or two about mushrooms. I mean, I know the different types that you can buy at the shop. However, from the minute I walked in the room and saw that fabulous display I realised that, in fact, I knew virtually nothing at all. That wasn’t a problem though because that’s precisely what this workshop was all about. By the end of the day we had learnt how to tell the difference between an edible mushroom and an inedible mushroom. We learnt where to find them and that there are mushrooms that glow in the dark! What?!

Later in the day we went out to the forest, where we got to see them in person, in their natural habitat, which made the world of difference. Getting out to the different sites to look for mushrooms was more fun and surprising than I could have ever imagined. At one site we had a plan to walk a kilometer or so along a particular track. I think Alison was quietly hoping that people wouldn’t stray too far so as to keep the group together. Well, as it turned out that wasn’t going to be a problem. After an hour and a half nobody had managed to get further than 150mt from the cars. This being such an amazing season there were different species everywhere we turned. The diversity in such a small area was outstanding. How Alison managed to drag us out of there I’ll never know =)

Oh, and we did find the glow in the dark mushrooms. I couldn’t believe it until I saw it!

Pictures courtesy of Alison Pouliot Photography

It was truly the best day out I’ve had in a long time. I would recommend Alison’s workshops to anyone young or old, novice or expert. There is something for everyone. If you’d like to join one of Alison’s workshops here are the details for the remaining season for 2011.

SATURDAY 07 MAY, CRESWICK – Bookings: 5345 2356 or creswick@ourneighbourhood.org.au

SUNDAY 08 MAY, CRESWICK – Bookings: 5345 2356 or creswick@ourneighbourhood.org.au

SATURDAY 14 MAY, TRENTHAM – Bookings: 5424 1354 or trentham@ourneighbourhood.org.au

SUNDAY 15 MAY, TRENTHAM – Bookings: 5424 1354 or trentham@ourneighbourhood.org.au

MONDAY 16 MAY, DAYLESFORD – Enquiries: alison@alisonpouliot.com

SUNDAY 22 MAY, APOLLO BAY – Enquiries: alison@alisonpouliot.com

SATURDAY 28 MAY, WEDDERBURN – Enquiries: alison@alisonpouliot.com

SUNDAY 29 MAY, WEDDERBURN – Enquiries: alison@alisonpouliot.com

Or go to Alison’s website for more details www.alisonpouliot.com

Have fun-gi’s.

Saffron Milk Caps - I got em!


6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by L on May 4, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    That looks like SO much fun! Why does all the fun stuff happen in Victoria?


  2. Posted by L on May 5, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    How exciting! I’ve requested a ticket for mother’s day and put my husband on the job. Looks like there is still space in the Saturday class! Thanks so much for the heads up 🙂


  3. Whoa, I never realized mushrooms could be so beautiful! What did the Saffron Milk Cap taste like?


    • Hi Fern,
      They are beautiful. Raw they aren’t so nice because they have an…acrid flavour. However, this disappears when they are cooked (sauteed in butter and thyme). They have quite a nutty flavour with a hint of spice.


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