With information about mushrooms on a range of fronts – from gourmet to psychedelic to biowaste management to medicinal – and activities for a range of folks from fungophiles to foodies, the 33rd Annual Telluride Mushroom Festival kicks off Saturday, Aug. 16, with an 8 a.m. registration for $275 passholders at the Palm Theater.
The four days of events wrap up in the evening hours of Tuesday, Aug. 19.
From Waste Stream Management to a Cook-off
Talks from the festival’s long list of presenters start Saturday at 9 a.m. at the Palm Theatre, and go on through Tuesday, with mycologist John Holliday, Ph.D., who owns Aloha Medicinals, discussing his work (10-11 a.m.) consulting on the application of fungi for everything from waste-stream management to the destruction of GMO genes from biowaste.
Then, at 11:30 a.m., Johns Hopkins University Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit Senior Program Coordinator Maggie Klinedinst discusses her research on the use of mushrooms in developing medications for the treatment of mental disorders.
Since its first psilocybin session in 2001, the Johns Hopkins BPRU has administered psilocybin over 400 times to over 200 people. To date, the unit has completed three double-blind studies, in healthy volunteers, and has completed online surveys to find consistencies between in- and out-of-lab research. The lab is currently conducting a trial investigating the use of psilocybin to ameliorate depression and anxiety in individuals diagnosed with cancer; help people to quit smoking; examine the benefits in religious professionals and examine its effects on long-term meditators and their brains. The talk will branch into the past research, its implications, and where the field of psychedelic research is headed.
Klinedinst, who is currently doing graduate work at The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has worked on studies using psilocybin (a psychoactive ingredient found in certain types of mushrooms), methadone, dextromethorphan, salvinorin-a, marijuana, alcohol, and nicotine, collaborating on manuscripts publishing the results from psilocybin, DXM, and salvinorin-a research studies; she stays active in the Baltimore City community, volunteers with the local Needle Exchange for intravenous drug users and is an ambassador for the United Way of Central Maryland.
At 1 p.m., Wilkinson Public Library hosts the festival’s popular Mushroom Cookoff (tickets for non-passholders at www.telluridemushroomfest.org for $7), judged this year by Lisa Dahl, Chef Bud Thomas, Langdon Cook and Laurel Robinson, with live music and a vendors’ fair.
Back at the Palm Saturday evening, Gary Lincoff, author of The Audubon Guide to Mushrooms, monitors an Ethnomycology Panel (3:30-5 p.m.), and wild- foods lecturer, instructor and writer Langdon Cook (The Mushroom Hunters: On the Trail of an Underground America) discusses how mushroom foraging can revitalize our relationship with the natural world, in Saturday’s keynote address (7:15-8:45 p.m.).
Pre-foraging Lecture From Lincoff
Sunday kicks off with a pre-foraging lecture from Lincoff at the Palm (9:30-10:15 a.m.), followed by workshops (please visit the website for specifics).
From 4-5:15 p.m., look for the unforgettable Telluride Mushroom Parade, which revs up in Elks Park and then heads east along Main Street.
Holliday returns to the Palm Sunday as the day’s keynote speaker, discussing Medicinals (7:15-8:45 p.m.), and his firm, Aloha Medicinals, the Hawaii-based laboratory that develops fungi for industrial, structural, farming and commercial animal feed uses.
The documentary Little Saints screens that evening (9:15 p.m.). Its producers describe the film, from Mexican director Oliver Quintanilla, as chronicling the “personal journey of six individuals from the United States who…travel to the South of Mexico to meet a Shaman and take part of an ancient ritual for psychological and physical healing, for spiritual advancement,” ingesting psilocybe mushrooms with guidance from Mazatec Shaman Natalia.
Lectures, forays and group meals continue Monday-Tuesday; events wrap up that night, at the Palm, with keynote speaker Lincoff discussing Adventures in Foraging at 7:15 p.m.; a closing ceremony 8:30-9 p.m.; and a book signing 9-9:15 p.m.
For a full schedule, and for ticket information, please visit (see telluridemushroomfest.org).