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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Fungi Feastival 2023 Virtual Launch

Fungi are our future. Some fungi are edible, some are therapeutic, some clean up oil spills

and other toxic chemicals, some create zombie ants, some control pests, some improve drought tolerance and productivity of plants, some are used as compostable packaging including coffins, some allow trees to talk to each other. The list goes on!

That is what underlies the Fungi Feastival – a new festival launched today to celebrate all things fungi; science, food and art. The Fungi Feastival will be held from 16 June to 16 July with fun(gi) activities from Batemans Bay to Eden.

The co-founders of the Fungi Feastival, Annette Kennewell, Fiona Kotvojs and Josh Whitworth are pleased to announce the launch today of the Fungi Feastival with the website, www.fungifeastival.com.au, going live. Annette grows oyster mushrooms at her small farm near Central Tilba, Fiona produces truffles at Gulaga Gold in Dignams Creek and Josh runs Collective Cultures near Narooma, a small mushroom cultivation business.

Annette says "This is an opportunity to learn about the fascinating and unique world of fungi, including mushrooms and truffles. We are fortunate to have Alison Pouliot, one of Australia’s leaders in fungi, an environmental photographer, author and ecologist as our keynote fungi speaker. You can learn about the role of fungi in nature from Alison.

"There will also be gourmet mushroom growing workshops in Moruya, Narooma and Central Tilba to learn how to grow your own mushrooms at home. Marita Smith of Milton Mushrooms will present ‘Grow your own Shrooms’ at SAGE Community Garden in Moruya. "In Narooma, Josh Whitworth will present a mushroom growing workshop. Annette Kennewell will demonstrate how to grow oyster mushrooms indoors and wine cap mushrooms in an outdoor garden near Central Tilba. "If your interest is growing truffles, then this will be presented in Dignams Creek by Fiona Kotvojs, along with the opportunity to experience a truffle hunt with scent-trained dogs.

"The Fungi Feastival will be a ‘feast’ to expand your culinary knowledge of fungi: mushroom and truffle cooking class’s at Eastwood’s in Bermagui; or experience delicious mushroom and truffle dishes throughout the Feastival at some 10 participating restaurants and cafes throughout Eurobodalla and Bega Valley. "There will be four extraordinary fungi dinners throughout the Feastival: Wheelers in Pambula, Florabel in Eden, I’ll Passiggio in Bermagui and The Dromedary Hotel in Central Tilba. These dinners showcase truffles and mushrooms – it’s your chance to experience the earthy aroma and umami flavour of mushrooms and truffles.

"The Fungi Feastival also celebrates the art of fungi. Get creative with a fungi photography workshop or hands-on with clay to make your own mushroom pottery. Or simply relax watching one of the great fungi movies at The Narooma Kinema.

"The more you learn about fungi, the more amazing they become. They are key in our future. The Fungi Feastival provides an amazing opportunity to learn more about fungi, to experience various flavours and try different artforms while helping strengthen our local winter economy. "We see the Feastival as something that will grow over time; with more activities included as part of this year’s Fungi Feastival, and different elements in future Feastival. We hope that

through the Feastival, local businesses will be stronger and new businesses will become established in our local area producing various gourmet mushrooms.

If you’re interested in the science or art of fungi, or in cooking and eating mushrooms and truffles, the Fungi Feastival 2023 will delight you. To see the calendar of Fungi Feastival activities and book, visit www.fungifeastival.com.au.

The Fungi Feastival co-founders would like to give special thanks to our sponsors for supporting the establishment of the inaugural Fungi Feastival in 2023: Mumbulla Community Foundation, Bega Valley Shire Council, Global Giving and the Australian Government; Tilba Chamber of Commerce; and Sugar Bush Creative.

Above: Mushrooms growing in their natural environment, photograph courtesy Alison Pouliot, keynote speaker for Fungi Feastival 2023.


Above: Oyster Mushrooms on the menu, grown, photographed and cooked in a pizza by Josh Whitworth of Collective Cultures near Narooma.

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