Author Archives: Sigrid Jakob

Herbal First Aid Workshop Saturday June 3, 10am Van Cortland Park

When: Saturday June 3, 10am

Where: Jerome Avenue and 233rd St, North West Corner of the intersection

What to bring (only what you have available, don’t stress over what you don’t): Brown paper bag, 1 orange, water bottle that has a spout, gauze, Ace bandage wrap, oversized t-shirt that’s disposable, steri strip (optional), first aid kit

No registration necessary – free and open to non-members – please share with anyone interested!


Your first aid needs can be met with plants around you. This workshop will discuss variety of emergency situations you can encounter during a hike, long backpacking trip, camping or a day at the park.

You will be introduced to fundamental herbal care concepts, the necessary shift in thinking, wound and infection management using herbs.

This workshop will be taught by NYMS Community Partnership Coordinator Journei Bimwala, who is an afro-roots clinical herbalist, certified holistic health coach, educator and forager.

Come read with us! June’s Book Club Reading: Merlin Sheldrake, Entangled Life, June 24

We are excited to announce our June Book Club reading of Merlin Sheldrake’s Entangled Life!  This “gorgeous” “masterpiece” is “ripe with insight and erudition” and will remind you that “fungi are, like the Universe, sublime.”  In honor of LGBTQ Pride Month, you can purchase the book here to support your local independent bookseller Bluestockings Bookstore!


This in-person discussion of Entangled Life will be led by Charlie Dibe, a film producer, longtime member of NYMS, and avid mycophile and bibliophile!  We recommend reading the entire book but, in the interest of time, we will be focusing on the first three chapters, particularly Chapter 3, “The Intimacy of Strangers.”


merlin sheldrake entangled life nyms book club june


BONUS:  Attendees will be treated to IMMOREL — special complimentary new sparkling mushroom teas by NYMS member, book club attendee, and myco-tea maven, Charlotte Rogg!  You are also very welcome to bring your own beverage or snack.


All are welcome — myco-newbies, generalists and specialists!  Come join us Saturday 6/24 (3-5 pm) in a gorgeous setting for an informal and inspiring in-person discussion of a now-classic in the myco-canon.  Please email Maya at  to RSVP!

In person part 2 discussion of Tsing’s Mushroom at the end of the world, June 4

anna lowenhaupt tsing may myco book club nyms mushroom at the end of the world

Thanks to everyone who came out for our inaugural book club discussion of The Mushroom at the End of the World by Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing. If you have not yet purchased this, we encourage you to order it at this month’s featured AAPI independent bookseller, Yu & Me Books, in NYC’s Chinatown. Due to popular demand, the SECOND in-person discussion will be Sunday, June 4th, 3-5pm. This will provide an opportunity for a deeper dive in the book’s chapters beyond the first 50 pages (and a second chance to join in for those who missed the May 20 event.)  You are welcome to bring your own snacks or beverages.

If you want to attend but are unable to get the book, please email so we can get you the reading. Spots are limited so all who wish to attend should please RSVP

All are welcome — myco-newbies, generalists and specialists! Come join us in a gorgeous setting for an informal and inspiring discussion on a “brilliant book… a delight to read”… an “anthropological and environmental study” with the “flowing prose of a well-crafted novel.”

Mark your calendars! 2023 Summer + Fall scheduled walks

The club has walks every weekend of the year, but only in the summer and fall do we schedule them ahead of time, so people can plan out their season.
On weekends where there are no scheduled walks we will organize pop-up walks, details of which will be shared a few days beforehand.
A few things to know about our scheduled walks:
  • We meet when public transportation arrives, where public transportation arrives (station, bus stop etc)
  • Walks often last 5-6 hours
  • We may cancel or move walks in case of thunderstorms or extremely dry conditions
  • The exact details for the following walks (including any changes) will be announced by email a few days before the date
Members are asked not to pick in the walk areas in the two weeks before the walk.
We thank Dennis Aita, the club’s walks coordinator, for organizing these walks!

Come read with us! Announcing the launch of the NYMS Myco Book Club

We are excited to launch our new Myco Book Club for NYMS members! For the inaugural reading, and in honor of May’s AAPI Heritage Month, we will be reading The Mushroom at the End of the World by Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing which can be purchased at this month’s featured AAPI independent bookseller, Yu & Me Books, in NYC’s Chinatown. The in-person discussion will be Saturday, May 20th (rain date Sunday May 21), 3-5pm at the big table in the back pergola of the beautiful and serene Elizabeth Street Garden (entrance on Elizabeth Street between Prince and Spring). Delicious mushroom kimbap rolls and shiitake cookies (all vegan and gluten-free) will be provided courtesy of our member myco-culinary artist, Kate Ray! You are also welcome to bring your own snacks or beverages.

The discussion will be led by NYMS member Katina Rogers, who is a writer, educator, and independent scholar, and has taught this book in her graduate course on power, precarity, and care.

If you want to attend but are unable to get the book, please email so we can get you the reading. Spots are limited so all who wish to attend should please RSVP

All are welcome — myco-newbies, generalists and specialists! Come join us in a gorgeous setting for an informal and inspiring discussion on a “brilliant book… a delight to read.. with the flowing prose of a well-crafted novel.”

Join us at the NYMS Fungus Fest on Randall’s Island on October 23, 2022!

The New York Mycological Society presents 

Fungus Festival 

By Randall’s Island Urban Farm, Wards Meadow Loop, New York, NY 10035

Sunday, October 23, 2022

11 AM – 3 PM

Free and open to all ages!

Made possible with the generous support of the Randall’s Island Park Alliance

With interest in fungi spawning across the city, the New York Mycological Society is celebrating New York City’s first ever Fungus Festival on Randall’s Island Park, on Sunday, October 23rd, 2022, from 11 AM – 3 PM.  This free community centered event welcomes all ages and all mushroom-curious amateurs and experts alike!

What’s on offer

Guided mushroom walks

A mushroom display and identification table

Lectures by experts

Kid’s corner with face-painting, costume making and mushroom drawing and watercolor workshop

Microscopy stations

DNA sequencing demonstration

Vegan pizzas by James Baldwin Outdoor Learning Center

Displays by partners: Smallhold, Biotech without Borders, Mycology at NYU and many more

Workshop on mushroom cultivation by the Cornell Small Farms group

Displays on edible fungi in the city, medicinal mushrooms, poisonous mushrooms and more

Merchandise including books and mushroom-themed art

Excursiones en Españiol




James Baldwin Outdoor Learning Center

Latino Outdoors

The NYU Mycology Group

Cornell Small Farms Program

Museo del Hongo

Lisa Schonberg + Allie Wist

Directions on how to get there

About the New York Mycological Society

The New York Mycological Society is New York City’s very own mushroom club and open to anyone with an interest in fungi. The club was founded 60 years ago by avantgarde composer John Cage and friends. Our 1,400+ members enjoy walks every weekend, ID session, lectures, workshops and much more. Our mission is to document the amazing fungal diversity in New York City’s parks for science and conservation and create greater awareness for the wonderful world of fungi.

Take part in the FunDiS Rare 20 Challenge!

Fungi everywhere in North America are under threat from habitat loss, climate change, loss of host organisms and too much nitrogen in the soil. And yet there are no fungi on any endangered species lists and they are not considered in conservation policy or projects. Why? There simply too little data on fungi – not enough to build a case that a species is in need of special protection.
Community scientists can help change this by documenting rare and threatened fungi. Fungal Diversity Survey (FunDiS) has made it their mission to make this easy and fun.
The FunDiS Rare 20 Challenge for the North East is a multi-year project to document 20 rare and threatened fungi.
How do I participate?
Simply familiarize yourself with the 20 target fungi here by downloading the pdf (they’re all easy to identify even by beginners) and if you think you’ve found one, take lots of good pictures and put it on iNaturalist. Someone from FunDiS will get in touch to verify your find and will tell you what to do next.
I’ve found Butyriboletus billieae a couple of times in Staten Island, and I can tell you it’s really exciting to find one of these rare critters!
-Sigrid Jakob
New York Mycological Society

Pick up free mushroom fruiting blocks + learn what to do with them!

Block pickup: Saturday July 9th, 11-3pm
Cultivation lecture: Sunday July 10th, 5-7pm on Zoom

Louis, Craig and Ciara

The New York Mycological Society has partnered with Smallhold for a very special giveaway for our members. Smallhold is not only New York’s preeminent urban mushroom farm, they also create innovative systems that help businesses and restaurants all over the country grow mushrooms.

Smallhold currently does not have the capacity or space to second-flush their blocks, so they compost the substrate blocks after only one flush. It is however quite easy to get a second and even third flush of mushrooms from them. Spent mushroom blocks can also be used as spawn, and broken up and mixed with more substrate to cultivate more mushrooms. They can also be used towards compost, gardening, and myco-remediation projects.

On Saturday July 9, from 11-3pm Smallhold will be giving away these blocks to NYMS members free of charge! Blue oyster and lion’s mane mushroom blocks will be available. All that we require is for members to pre-register using this form.

Please submit the registration form by Saturday, July 2nd.

The giveaway will happen at Smallhold’s headquarters at 630 Flushing Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11206, right by the Flushing Avenue subway stop.

Each block weighs around five pounds and is quite bulky. If you are planning to take them home by public transit, plan to bring a large reusable or IKEA-type bag.

How can I find out more about fruiting these blocks or using them for other applications?

We’ve scheduled a Zoom lecture with three panel presentations by urban mushroom cultivation experts the following day, Sunday, July 10th, from 5-7pm. The program will provide an introduction on how to handle and to use the blocks towards various applications, including block, bed, and log cultivation, as well as, compost and soil building. The program will also be a great primer for those who want to inoculate their outdoor spaces and community gardens with mushrooms.

The link to this lecture is

Growing your own fungi is a wonderful way to better understand fungi – the conditions they need to fruit and their magical abilities to transform substrates. We highly encourage our members to take advantage of this special offer and to watch these great lecturers!

More information on the panelists:

Louis Vassar Semanchik/Smallhold has been cultivating mushrooms for a decade, growing a variety of wood- and compost-loving mushrooms, both outside in the garden and indoors using DIY methods, as well as, in professionally-designed indoor automated fruiting chambers. He is also well versed in non-sterile and sterile techniques for starting and maintaining mycelium cultures. He is a homegrown New Yorker, who currently lives in Austin, TX, and heads Research and Development at Smallhold, a distributed network of indoor specialty mushroom farms in NY, TX, and LA.

Craig M. Trester/Harlem Grown is an educator and citizen scientist who utilizes principles of biomimicry and traditional ecological knowledge through applied mycology to develop regenerative solutions for many of the environmental challenges that impact our world. Through educational outreach he has sought to provide people with the knowledge and resources to recognize and practically apply the benefits that fungi have to offer our health, environment, and society. Craig believes novel approaches for bioremediation, carbon sequestration, and regenerative agriculture can be made a reality, through research of fungi and soil biology, diligent observation of our surroundings and intentional application of beneficial microorganisms.

Ciara Sidell/Randall’s Island Park Alliance Urban Farm is a lifelong New Yorker, committed to growing food in educational spaces in NYC. Ciara has farmed at the Queens County Farm Museum, taught with City Growers on Brooklyn Grange’s rooftop farms, managed Harlem Grown’s network of growing spaces, and currently manages the Randall’s Island Park Alliance Urban Farm — an educational farm, designed completely with teaching and learning in mind. Ciara is endlessly interested in engaging folks in learning and discussion around the intersections of farming, justice, community, and the urban landscape. Recently, she completed Cornell Small Farm Program’s Community Mushroom Educator Training and has been incorporating mushroom cultivation into the farm on Randall’s Island. Outside of farming, she enjoys non-competitive team sports, and gets her adrenaline fix from biking on city streets.


Sneha Ganguly, NYMS Community Outreach Coordinator + Sigrid Jakob, NYMS President