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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Fungi Feastival Finished for 2023 but there’s more to come!

The Fungi Feastival may be finished for 2023 but the mycelium will continue to grow underground with another Feastival already scheduled from mid June to mid July 2024. This year the Fungi Feastival coordinated 33 fungi events from Batemans Bay to Eden from 16 June to 16 July. Events focused on the science, food and art of fungi.

The co-convenors of the inaugral Fungi Feastival, Fiona Kotvojs of Gulaga Gold, Josh Whitworth of Collective Cultures and Annette Kennewell of Tilba Mushrooms would like to thank the sponsors for their financial support: Mumbulla Community Foundation, Tilba Area and Narooma Chambers of Commerce, Whale Coast Realty and Mushgrow Wood Pellets.

Keynote speaker Alison Pouliot presented a fungi seminar in Central Tilba to sixty people, then hands-on fungi workshops to fifty people in Cobargo and Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Gardens. Participants were intrigued by Alison’s stories of her many fungi forays in the environment and educated about the importance of the symbiotic relationship between fungi and plant roots.

Over 130 people attended practical mushroom growing workshops at five venues: Batemans Bay Library, SAGE Community Garden in Moruya, Narooma Library, Tilba Mushrooms, and Farm on the Green in Merimbula. These workshops were presented by Josh Whitworth, Annette Kennewell, Fiona Kotvojs, plus Marita Smith of Milton Mushrooms, and special guest presenters Elisabeth Newfield and Liz Worth.

Fiona Kotvojs coordinated seven truffle hunts at her farm Gulaga Gold near Dignams Creek. With truffle season continuing till mid August there are more truffle hunting experiences with scent-trained dogs, followed by tasting of truffle-infused cheese and ice cream.

There were five fabulous fungi dinners at The Oaks Ranch in Mossy Point, florabel in Eden, il Passaggio in Bermagui, the Dromedary Hotel in Central Tilba, and Wheelers Restaurant in Pambula. More than 140 diners enjoyed delicious courses like truffle and pecorino arancini with truffle mayo at The Oaks Ranch, mushroom gyozas at florabel, black risotto with wild mushrooms and truffle at il Passaggio, mushroom bavarois with wood roasted mushrooms and truffle at the Drom, and seared scallops with black truffle at Wheelers.

Local cafes and eateries offering ‘fungi on the menu’ during the Fungi Feastival included Fig Café and Bar plus Hotel Australasia in Eden. In Central Tilba, Tilba Dairy offered truffle cheese tastings and the Tilba Bakery, Tilba Teapot and Tilba Valley Winery all had mushrooms on their menu. In Narooma, Mr Bold Catering offered take home mushroom and truffle dishes. In Bermagui, Eastwood’s hosted a mushroom and truffle cooking class which quickly filled.

To celebrate the art of fungi, there were two fascinating fungi documentaries at Narooma Kinema enjoyed by almost 100 people over two nights. Twenty people attended two fungi photography workshops, one near Merimbula and one in Narooma. Almost sixty children attended free family-friendly fungi activities at Bermagui and Bega Libraries in the school holidays.

Fungi Feastival 2023 is now finished but there are still oyster mushrooms available at Tilba Market, mushroom grain spawn for growers from Collective Cultures, and truffle hunts at Dignams Creek. To subscribe for early updates on Fungi Feastival 2024 events visit www.fungifeastival.com.au


Above: Mushroom growing workshop at Farm on the Green in Merimbula on Sunday 16 July.

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