a group of people who enjoy mushrooms and other fungi in north central Minnesota. We go looking for mushrooms (forays) and learn about fungi together. If you are interested, joining us is a great way to learn about mushrooms regardless of your previous experience; check the Membership page. PBMC cooperates with clubs in the region and is affiliated with the North American Mycological Society (NAMA).
During the winter months, we meet for information and/or to get organized. These meetings will usually be announced on the Events page and by email to members. Past meetings included demonstrations of mushroom cooking, cultivation, and other fun facts about fungi.
(think ‘forage’) In warmer months, we take walks together to find mushrooms in various natural areas. During and after the walk, we discuss our finds and share information including identification, edibility (for some), and interesting facts about fungi. This is the best…maybe the only way to learn to identify mushrooms. The general area, date, and time of forays will be announced on the Events page with a contact person for questions. Directions to the location are sent to members prior to the foray to avoid anyone ‘scooping’ the location. Unless otherwise publicized, forays are for members only although you can join us for a very small fee and a liability release is required.
Please use the form below to contact us if you have questions. Sorry, we cannot do mushroom identification or edibility remotely. Join us at a foray or meeting or see the Info page for some very good tools to help you.
Meet The Board Of Directors
President: Michael Blassey
Michael is a refocused middle school teacher. He spends his time dabbling in various citizen science projects. He lives in Merrifield, MN, south of Crosslake. “My first encounters with mushrooms were looking through many glass jars in my grandmother’s pantry. I’ve been a forager ever since.”
Vice President: Keith Baer
I live in Dickinson ND and in 2012 we purchased a lake home on Leech Lake north of Walker MN. Upon retiring in 2015 my wife Sandy and I now split our time up between Dickinson and Walker. I am a newbie at identifying and finding edible mushrooms so I joined the club in the fall of 2016. With the help and information from the great people in the club I got involved in foraging and then started cultivating my own mushrooms in 2017 and have expanded the process this year. My wife now tells me I have become an edible mushroom forager maniac!
Secretary: Stephanie Anderson
Steph works with shock absorbers for snowmobiles, UTV’s, ATV’s, and race vehicles. To get a break from the world of motors she likes to go into the woods and Shinrin-yoku (Japanese for Forest Bathing). Steph joined the mushroom club in March of 2016, to learn more about edible mushrooms and how to safely harvest. In 2017 she jumped in to help with the newsletter and social media and now joins our leadership team, too. Her favorite mushroom is morel, because that is the start of the summer season.
Treasurer: Mary Mitchell
Mary lives in Bemidji and has been interested in mushrooms since she was in her twenties. She was a founding member of the FunGis Mushroom Club in North Dakota and has been a member of the Minnesota Mycological Society and the North American Mycological Society. Her favorite mushroom is the Tawny Grisette Amanita fulva.
Past President: Audrey Kepp
Audrey is a retired teacher who lives in Bemidji. As a child, she hated mushrooms. To be fair, her only experience with mushrooms was canned soup. Her interest in wild foods led her to give mushrooms a second chance, and a friend at White Earth introduced her to morels. She was hooked and graduated to puffballs and shaggy manes. Finding beautiful, fascinating mushrooms as she roamed the woods foraging berries and herbs, she realized she needed the guidance of experienced people. She joined Paul Bunyan Mushroom Club, and the rest is delicious history.
Past President: Paula Peters
Paula founded the Paul Bunyan Mushroom Club along with John Mikesh. “We thought, why go to Minneapolis to learn about mushrooms when we have so much forest all around us? Anna Gerenday was instrumental in helping us for many years and to this day I still hear her voice pronouncing the scientific names of the mushrooms we find! I began to learn, as many do, about morels in the early 1980’s, and happened upon the Minnesota group at Deep Portage Conservation Reserve where I met John. I have enjoyed meeting all of the people who have joined us in our journey to know more about the forest and learned much from all of them. I am so happy our club is now ‘official’ and I hope that for many years we can continue to offer education and a fun experience to those seekers of fungi! Our club had many forays in the Akeley area where I once lived. I moved on to Walker and now I live South of Bemidji on 5 acres in the country where I can never have enough flowers, and a vegetable garden. My favorite mushroom would probably be the hedgehog Hydnum repandum. I love the nutty flavor. But there are so many others as well! I hope to learn some new ones yet this season.”
Others who help keep PBMC together
Communications: Stephanie Anderson
Stephanie gets the info for forays and meeting to you. She also manages our Facebook page.
Website editor: Gene Kremer
Gene mostly wonders how living things do so and has been focusing on fungi for about twelve years. He lives and walks the woods near Duluth. Hard to choose, but chantrelles Cantherellus sp. and hedgehogs Hydnum repandum are favorite edibles, although Cheimonophyllum candidissimum, a tiny white gilled mushroom on wood that can be out in the woods in November is always a joy to find.