Larry took a mycology class from OK Miller in 1977 and has spent the 40 some years since learning and teaching about fungi. His obsession has taken him on expeditions to the middle of the Amazon rainforest, the Russian Far East, and around North America. He’s a founder of the Western Montana Mycological Association (1991) and the first state approved mushroom vendor(2001). He released 2 CDs Fungal Boogie and Fungal Boogieman (2007) and appeared in Ron Mann’s comedocumentary Know Your Mushrooms (2009) and Yasuni Man (2016) by Ryan Killackey. 2023 sees the rerelease of A Field Guide to Amazon Mushrooms in Spanish, coauthored with Tatiana Sanjuan and Daniel Winkler.
Mycorrhizal Events and Communications
Sydney went on her first morel hunt at age 8, back when they were decidedly “icky”, but never lost her taste for fungal adventure. Since joining the board in 2018, she has been able to live out her prerogative of bringing people into deeper relationship with their non-human community. She strives to co-create fun, inspiring gatherings that leave people empowered with new resources and strengthened by belonging. When not fungally focused, you can find her with her daughter growing and foraging food and medicine, and teaching about plants with Wild Wanders. Feel free to reach out with ideas and collaborations!
Michael is a cannabis cultivator, outdoor enthusiast, and lover of science and community. He got into foraging and mycology due to the fact that we live in a mycophobic society. He believes we’re overly cautious when it comes to handling and consuming mushrooms, and strives to break the mould surrounding this cultural belief. As a teenager, he would bring home all sorts of edible mushrooms, properly identifying them using dichotomous keys, while being judged by concerned friends and family for the perceived risk he was taking. However, he never stopped, and his love for fungi did nothing but grow over the years. At work, he inoculates his substrates with mycorrhizae, making his plants more heat tolerant and resistant to “transplant shock,” while magnifying secondary metabolites and increasing his yields.
Deserae was raised in a log cabin in the woods with no electricity. The forest became not only her home, but also her school, where she learned invaluable lessons from her survivalist/master herbalist parents. Each lesson taught her how to survive off the land, but the lesson that resonated most came when she was eight years old. A huge fire destroyed hundreds of acres up Ninemile. That’s where she learned how the forest recycles with the growth of mushrooms in burn scars. She took classes from Larry Evans about how to pick mushrooms, and the hobby quickly turned into a way to support herself financially. While in college, she decided she wanted to find out more about mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest. Many hours were spent at Powell’s bookstore in Portland, Oregon combing through numerous books, learning about mycology. After college, she moved back to Montana to raise her kids. She started, owned, and operated three businesses in downtown Missoula for nine years. But in 2012, she decided to get out of the entertainment industry and go back to nature and her roots. She began picking mushrooms and selling them at the Farmers Market for many years. Now she gets in the forest with her mushroom friends and finds joy in the treasure hunt under every bush, rock, leave and tree.
Cathryn grew up in the far corner of Northwestern Montana, building tree forts, picking huckleberries and squishing puffballs. As a child the woods were her playground and they still are today. She became a member of the WMMA after moving to Missoula in 2013 and enjoyed many a fungal foray before joining the board in 2018. Cathryn attends school for herbal medicine while working as an herbalist for Meadowsweet Herbs, and teaches about wild food and medicine alongside Sydney in their side-venture Wild Wanders. She is incrediblly grateful for the opportunity to build community around her passions and spread ethical enthusiasm, reinvigorating our relationship within the natural world.
Originally from Great Falls, Kevin has lived in Missoula since 2012. His love for mushrooms stems from learning about cultivation through forums and YouTube as a senior in high school, but it took years for him to take a swing at truly understanding fungi. After finding (and eating) some wild hericium, he realized wild mushrooms are a lot less scary than he previously thought, and for the last few years he’s spent a good portion of his energy learning about our local fungi. He hopes that he can help inspire others to love fungi and the greater ecology that surrounds us, becoming stronger advocates for protecting habitat in the process.