OUR ORIGINS

The Mushroom Society of Utah was founded in 1993 by Ardean Watts and several charter members who shared an interest in mycology (the study of fungi).

MSU is an all-volunteer organization that seeks to provide opportunities for pleasure, recreation and socializing for those in our community interested in mushrooms. MSU also has the following goals: 

1. Provide education and mentoring

2. Foster community and social interaction

3. Culinary applications

4. Awareness and aesthetic appreciation

5. Scientific contribution

MSU meets on the first Saturday of the month during summer for forays. The purpose of a foray can be to hunt for edibles, collect for scientific study, or enjoy the beauty and diversity of fungi.

MSU also meets the last weekend in August for an annual multi-day event called the Fall Foray. This event usually includes workshops, lectures, contests, forays, camping, dutch oven cooking, and help with identification.

Winter events include an annual feast held in January.

Starting in 2021, we will also host the Northern Utah Funga project. The goal of this project is to contribute high quality mushroom observations to the iNaturalist database and to describe the fungi of Northern Utah, including rare, potentially threatened, and under-documented species. NUF plans to maintain a collection of northern Utah fungi for use in DNA sequencing, vouching specimens in curated fungaria, and lead mycology and citizen science education in northern Utah.

 
 

In the spring when the rains come, mushrooms flourish in unexpected places. We went with Utah musician and educator Ardean Watts to one of his favorite hunting spots in the west part of the Salt Lake Valley. For Watts, mushrooms are the perfect symbol for his philosophy of life … a love of unruly things. -RadioWest