Tours with Steve

Welcome to the wonderful world of fungi and mushrooms!

Join Steve Schmidt, horticulturalist, on one of his regularly scheduled Sustainable Mushroom Adventure Tours in Oregon. Walk through ancient forests, enjoy breath-taking views, learn proper identification and sustainable harvesting techniques of wild foods.

Check out our other videos...

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Interesting video produced by Clackamas County government channel about the 2013 Estacada Festival of Fungus showing the pre-festival workshop, the mushroom foray and the mushroom show with interviews.

2013 Estacada Festival of Fungus

Steve Schmidt is interview on January 14, 2014 on KMUZ by Radio Personality Diana Reeck about mushrooms and mycorrhizal mycelium in the garden. The first eight minutes are news and weather then the interview begins.

KMUZ Radio Interview on the Down in the Dirt with Diana with guest Steve Schmidt

Hunting for mushrooms can be a rewarding activity and lots of fun. The hardest part is learning where to find them. On "Tours with Steve" you will learn from a horticulturalist how to find mushrooms, identify likely mushroom habitat for various species, and how to read the forest to increase your chances for a successful mushroom hunt. You'll learn to identify some of the most delicious, edible mushrooms and, perhaps more important, you'll also learn which ones to leave alone!

What is a mushroom? It is the fruiting body of fungi. A good analogy is to think of mushrooms as apples on an apple tree. Mushrooms are a renewable resource and proper harvesting techniques encourage growth for successful collecting year after year.

Sustainable mushroom harvesting: learn to pick mushrooms ethically so that there will be more next year when you come back—Steve will teach you about all this and more.

Where did mushrooms come from? According to the latest research from the University of Sheffield, earth's first plants began to colonize the land by forming a partnership with fungi over 470 million years ago. At one time, the tallest terrestrial plant on earth was a mushroom. The evidence shows that soil fungi and plants have developed a mutually beneficial relationship that has existed through time. This has led to new insights into how both have evolved.

Why is this relationship important? When you are looking for mushrooms, it is important to understand plant and mushroom associations. In other words, if you look under a Bigleaf Maple tree you probably will not find a Chanterelle mushroom; they do not associate with each other. Much of the challenge and fun of the mushroom hunt is to learn correct plant species associations for the desired mushroom. You will begin to see the forest differently. Instead of a jumble of brush and tree, you will discover communities of plants mutually supporting each other. Each community has preferred residents, and some of those residents are mushrooms.

On "Tours with Steve", you will learn about some of these associations, where you might likely find mushrooms and how to process them once you get them home. You will learn to do basic identification of mushrooms and to recognize those that are best booted with your toe. Perhaps most importantly, you will also learn the basics of how to equip yourself for safety and basic navigation in the woods.

Tours with Steve ©2011