Every year in January the Sonoma County Mycological Association (SOMA) hosts its annual Wild Mushroom Camp just outside of Occidental, CA in beautiful Sonoma County. The three day event is held each year over the three-day Martin Luther King holiday weekend and features forays, speakers, and workshops covering a range of topics on all things fungi.
The camp is hosted at the CYO Retreat Center near Occidental, CA, about an hour north of San Francisco. Located on 225 acres of mixed oak, redwood, and douglas fir forest, the retreat center offers a range of habitats that are well suited for hunting a diverse array of mushroom species. Workshops include various sessions on mushroom cultivation, crafts, photography, identification, cooking and more. Educational sessions range from the basics of mushroom hunting to detailed mushroom identification and review of diverse and unique concepts in the field of mycology; from basic mushroom crafts including dyeing, paper-making to the new and developing field of MycoTech; from basic cooking suggestions and techniques to gourmet meals and the interconnection of mushrooms and health; and much more.
Group cabins are available for those wanting to camp onsite and there are nearby hotel and lodging options in the surrounding area. The Saturday and Sunday evening dinners are not to be missed, with phenomenal mushroom centric dishes prepared by SOMA’s resident executive chef. Camp is supported by the hardwork of volunteers and donations from local producers.
The camp acts as a fundraiser, benefit event for the SOMA Scholarship Fund that provides monetary scholarships for students K-12 whose entries into the Sonoma County Science Fair or Healdsburg Science Fair cover mushrooms/fungi topics, as well as scholarships for college and graduate level students who are furthering research in mycology and related fields. Additional information on SOMA Scholarships can be found here.
Registration for SOMA Camp 2018 opens on October 1st and is typically a sold-out event. For more information about the Sonoma County Mycological Association or 2018 SOMA Camp visit their website.
Gourmet Mushrooms is proud to be a supporter of camp each year, providing organic, specialty mushroom varieties for camp dinners and various cooking demonstrations. We hope to see you there in 2018.