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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Fungi Feastival’s Tree Oyster Meets Sea Oyster

The excitement about fungi as food was clear at the Narooma Oyster Festival. There was huge interest in the locally grown Oyster and Wine Cap mushrooms displayed by the Fungi Feastival team. The Oyster mushrooms are edible mushrooms grown at Central Tilba by Annette Kennewell. Oyster mushrooms (also known as ‘tree oysters’ or ‘pearl oysters’) have broad fan-shaped delicate caps with short stems and come in a variety of colours including white, pink, gold, blue, grey, tan and black pearl. They are sweet and succulent to taste with a subtle flavour. Wine Cap mushrooms (King Strophoria) are large or ‘giant’ mushrooms that are grown outdoors in a garden. These edible mushrooms have a reddish-brown cap with dark coloured gills and a delicious earthy taste similiar to a portobello but with a more robust flavour. They are cultivated locally by Josh Whitworth of Collective Cultures in Dalmeny. There was extensive interest in the Fungi Feastival’s Mushroom Growing workshops. Josh Whitworth will be facilitating home-grown mushroom workshops at Batemans Bay Library on Saturday 17 June and at Narooma Library on Saturday 24 June. Josh will demonstrate how easy it is to grow oyster mushrooms indoors and how to create mushroom garden beds to cultivate wine cap mushrooms outdoors. Marita Smith of Milton Mushrooms will present morning and afternoon workshops at SAGE Community Garden in Moruya on Saturday 15 July. Participants will learn how to grow their own mushroom bucket using low-tech sustainable methods. Annette Kennewell of Tilba Mushrooms and Fiona Kotvojs of Gulaga Gold truffles will facilitate a Fungi growing workshop at Annette’s small farm on Saturday 17 June. Annette will demonstrate how to grow oyster mushrooms and participants will tour her mushroom fruiting room. Mushroom growing substrates from sugar cane mulch to hardwood pellets and logs will be compared for growing oysters, shiitake and lion’s mane mushrooms. Fiona will talk about her experience growing truffles with oak and hazelnut trees at her farm located near Dignams Creek. The Fungi Growing Workshop at Tilba is already fully booked. Another Fungi Growing Workshop is scheduled for the Bega Valley on Sunday 16 July. To book and for more information on this workshop or other Fungi Feastival events, celebrating the science, food and art of fungi, visit The Fungi Feastival co-founders would like to thank our sponsors: Mumbulla Community Foundation, Bega Valley Shire Council, GlobalGiving and the Australian Government; Tilba and Narooma Chambers of Commerce; Sugar Bush Creative and Gulaga Gold.

Above: Pretty Pink Oyster Mushrooms grown locally by Annette Kennewell at Central Tilba

Above: White Oyster Mushroom with delicate fan shaped gills grown locally at Central Tilba

Above: Josh Whitworth of Fungi Feastival holding a Wine Cap Mushroom, a Garden Giant grown at Collective Cultures in Dalmeny

Above: Annette Kennewell at Fungi Feastival stall at Narooma Oyster Festival on Saturday 6 May, holding White Oyster Mushrooms & a Wine Cap Mushroom.

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