In late October and November it’s time to take advantage of the golden light of the season and enjoy the fall. Starting right off on October 23, the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens has a Vegetable Gardening in the Fall class from 10: 00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Now is the time to put your garden to bed for the winter, making sure that the soil has been enriched and will be ready to host new shoots and plants when Spring arrives. The organic vegetable garden has been expanded in the last few years and it’s absolutely flourishing. Join lead gardener Jaime Jensen – she’ll help you prepare your beds this season! Then, beginning November 7, you can join mycologist and naturalist Mario Abreu for a Mushroom I.D. For Beginners walk Mondays during mushroom season. Walks start at the Plaza at 1:30 p.m., and are free with garden admission. It’s the perfect time to discover some of the more than 150 mushroom species that proliferate in our amazing botanical gardens.
Mendocino Mushroom, Wine, and Beer Festival
That’s just the beginning of mushroom days! The Mendocino Mushroom, Wine, and Beer Festival November 3-14 includes non-stop activities throughout the county honoring our local abundance of mushrooms including chanterelles, porcinis, morels, and hedgehogs, and a very rare find, the candy cap mushroom, a featured flavor available at our local Cowlick’s Ice Cream shop every day during the festival. It tastes like a combination of caramel, butter pecan, and praline, can you imagine how yummy? Visit Mendocino has all the festival details, including a downloadable brochure packed with information about the who, where, what, when, and how much. Click here for details.
Two other Fort Bragg activities featured in the festival brochure are Skunk Train rides, where you just may be able to spot mushrooms from the open air car as you cruise through the redwoods, and a Noyo Meander Kayak Tour available daily, where you can see not only wildlife but some of our abundant coastal mushrooms.
If that does not sate your taste for adventuring in the world of mycology, guess what? You can continue learning more about mushrooms with a Mushroom I.D. for Beginners class at the Botanical Gardens on November 26, December 10 or or December 17, where you can learn the all-important taxonomic identifying features of mushrooms. Mario Abreu has created a slideshow, lecture, field walk, and hands-on look at mushrooms that thrive in the vitally important native plant communities in the gardens.
Mushroom Menus at Local Restaurants
Restaurants throughout the county are offering special mushroom menus and there are fantastic lodging discounts for your stay, too. Point Noyo Restaurant and Bar in Fort Bragg will offer three-course prix fixe menus highlighting the rich, savory flavors of local mushrooms – a different menu every day during the festival.
The Art of the Mushroom at the Fort Bragg Library
The Fort Bragg Library joins the mushroom festivities on November 4 with special guest, mushroom expert Teresa Sholars, Professor Emeritus at College of the Redwoods and “patron saint” of North Coast fungi. She’s been educating us about mushrooms for decades and will share a wealth of knowledge and lore that will knock your socks off. Artist Nancy Denison will showcase items from the Pacific Textile Arts Collection including handmade mushroom paper. She’ll also answer questions about the Paper Making Workshop with Dorothy Beebee coming up on November 19 and 20. How about a Wild Mushroom Cookbook? Get your signed copy and sample some of the recipes with authors Alison Gardner and Merry Winslow. You’ll also have a chance to meet members of the new Mendocino Coast Mushroom Club questions about The Club’s activities.
November is the time to learn more about our magnificent mushrooms while you explore our wild and wonderful Mendocino Coast!