Crystal Davidson Ohio based, fungus obsessed, Wrinkled Peach smelling, amateur field identifier. On the board of directors for Ohio Mushroom Society, and admins several popular mushroom identification groups on Facebook, including Ohio Mushroom Enthusiasts, Ohio Morel Mushroom Hunters, Mushroom Identification, and many others.
James Mann, naturalist, says he has always felt at home in the woods. Hiking, camping, and exploring were a big part of his childhood. Unfortunately there was not much opportunity so he decided to move to the city and become a chef. After toiling in restaurants around Columbus for almost 10 years, and interning at a Michelin-star restaurant in Sweden, he was burnt out and wanted to go a different route. He worked for a small, local mushroom farm for four years and learned the art of growing mushrooms. This re-sparked his love for the woods. Now, he has started his business Spicebush Woodcraft and Foraging to pursue his two greatest passions; teaching others about foraging and the natural world around them, and how to help and be a steward of the land. When he is not doing those things, he is working on building custom furniture and other wood-based crafts using native, sustainably sourced woods and primarily uses hand tools. He enjoys working on his homestead that was built with his partner Sarah and him. They call their home Cottonwood Hollow Homestead.
Mike grew up in northeast Ohio about a half mile from the Rocky River Metroparks. He spent a lot of time as a kid camping and hiking throughout Ohio. He's always been extremely curious and interested in the mechanics of nature. So naturally right away, Mike was attracted to mushrooms, and their enigmatic ways!
He has 20 plus successful years hunting and foraging edible wild mushrooms and other wild edibles, all over the United States.
Kevin is an educator in topics ranging from mathematics to food literacy. His passions include foraging and local ecology. He has foraged wild mushrooms for 15 years, a hobby that Kevin's eternally grateful for in how it brings him closer to nature. Kevin teaches mathematics in both high school and college. For his graduate thesis, he built a mathematical model to describe the symbiosis between ectomycorrhiza and trees in a forest ecosystem. He loves teaching others about the natural abundance around us and the benefits of sustainable local food systems. Kombucha fermentation has been a very fulfilling hobby from both a health and culinary perspective. Kevin enjoys the versatility of mixed culture fermentation and the innumerable possibilities for new applications.
Don King, also known as The Mushroom Hunter, can often be found hiking the forests of Ohio and neighboring states in search of wild mushrooms and other delicious and healthy edibles, which he considers to be the pinnacle of sustainable, local foods.
Don loves to share his knowledge of wild foods and how to prepare them through private and group identification workshops and wild edible hunts, as well as video tutorials and other appearances. He has been featured on NPR's Good Eats with Vivian Goodman and has made over a dozen appearances on Fox 8's New Day Cleveland.
Sherab Chen is a faculty librarian working at the Ohio State University, but he is also a self-taught wild edible plants and mushrooms forager in spare time.
He believes self-teaching and life-long learning are the best approaches to gain holistic knowledge towards a better way of life. He recently obtained a 5-year wild mushroom safety certificate (Mushroom Mountain). During his tenure at Ohio State, he has also been advising student groups focused on tea culture and Buddhist meditation, and led wild edible plants/mushroom walks. Amazed by the biodiversity of the Buckeye state, he has been documenting and sharing his foraging experiences via social media such as Instagram. He is interested in forming a wild plants/mushroom foraging community and establishing standards and safety guidelines, and seeks collaboration with groups of people to create a safe environment and sound reputation for all foragers.
Join Sherab on a foray as he guides you through the woods on our 1000 acre venue during the show!
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Ray is a mushroom and native plant enthusiast. His passion for wild edibles stems from a desire to be connected not only to what we consume, but to the earth as well. This has lead him to learn the edible and medicinal mushrooms of our Ohio forests. Ray operates a native tree and shrub nursery called West Branch Forest Treasures. There, he grows fruit and nut trees from seed from local and high quality sources. He also operates a small farm where he is creating a food forest of native plants.