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In August of this year, NEMF 2005 – the 11th Annual Samuel Ristich Foray – will transform the Mont Alto campus of Pennsylvania State University into Mushroom Heaven. Situated in the 85,000-acre Michaux State Forest, the school’s proximity to a wide variety of habitats ensures some of the best mushroom picking in south-central Pennsylvania. NEMF fungiphiles will channel the area’s tremendous diversity of mushrooms into a spectacular display in The Great Exhibition Hall (AKA, the school gym).

Your hosts – the Eastern Penn Mushroomers (who hold their annual Helen Miknis Foray at this site every year), the New Jersey Mycological Association and the Western Pennsylvania Mushroom Club – will do their best to ensure a most enjoyable ‘shroooming experience. In addition to mycological interests, your family members will find a multitude of recreational opportunities, including eleven golf courses and easy travel to several important Civil War battlefields (including Gettysburg, Antietam and Harper’s Ferry). Chambersburg, PA, Waynesboro, PA and Hagerstown, MD offer a variety of accommodations nearby, should dormitory living not suit your style.

If you’re new to Regional Forays

If you’ve never been to a regional foray, get ready to be amazed at the variety of new mushrooms you’ll see. A couple hundred seasoned mushroomers from a score of different clubs can haul in a tremendous number of species, including many uncommon edibles (my personal favorite is Polyozellus multiplex, which I’d never heard of until the 2002 NAMA foray in Oregon). Several hundred species get identified by some of the top mycologists in the nation (or even the world). Whether in the woods or in the display room, chat with one of our faculty members and you are guaranteed to get new insights about the mushrooms at hand.

If your interests are culinary, identification, ecology, or “just everything,” the best way to learn about mushrooms is to surround yourself with highly knowledgeable people, in the vicinity of several thousand freshly picked mushrooms. Attend a few of the many lectures and workshops, and you may end up learning more than you normally do in an entire season on your own. And it’s not just the faculty who make it work. Most of the participants are just as obsessed about mushrooms as you (or more), so you are sure to find kindred spirits and friendly mentors if you want. If you’re a beginner, realize that most of the seasoned veterans delight in sharing their experience and fascination with newcomers – you will be WELCOMED!

Possibly the most difficult thing about NEMF is deciding which activities to enjoy. Two short early-bird forays go out on Thursday afternoon, followed by dinner, orientation, and evening lectures. Friday and Saturday are tougher. Four half-day forays compete with an all-day foray for your attention. Add to that a series of workshops (paper-making, photography, microscopy, and more), lectures, and special events (including reviews of the tables, specialty walks, mycophagy, and an “Iron-Chef” cook-off), and you may find yourself wishing you could split yourself in four! Oh, and don’t forget the exhibition and vendor rooms, available all day, every day.

If you’re a seasoned veteran

Each Northeast Foray is unique, with its own strengths and distinctions. This year, we’ve worked hard to compile an exceptional faculty roster. Popular, eminent, and friendly mycologists who’ve been regular guests of honor at prior NEMFs include Sam Ristich (our mycological patron), Doug Bassett, Ernst Both, Glenn Freeman, Gary Lincoff, Rosalind Lowen, Walt Sturgeon, Rodham Tulloss, and Tom Volk. Less familiar faces include two renowned European mycologists – Roy Watling (appointed an MBE by the Queen of England for his broad contributions to mycology) and Bart Buyck (Curator of Cryptogamy at the National Museum in Paris, and world expert on Russula) – as well as Roy Halling (Curator of Mycology at the New York Botanical Gardens, and currently specializing in Boletes), and Coleman McCleneghan (Pholiota specialist, and chief mycologist at the 2004 NAMA). And we haven’t even listed the array of dedicated experts from the three host clubs, or the Mont Alto professors who will introduce us to the local flora!

Sign Up!

This year’s foray will be limited to 200 participants – on a first-come, first-served basis. Early-bird registration (before July 1st) saves $30. Registration form and additional information can be found below, or by e-mailing the registrars John or Cheryl Dawson:  nemf2005 at, or by calling them (717) 846–1225. Join us at NEMF 2005, and treat yourself to a weekend of Mushroom Heaven!

-- by Glenn Boyd, 2005 NEMF Foray Chairman

: Southern Pennsylvania between Chambersburg and Waynesboro, on the Penn State School of Forestry campus, next to thousands of acres of the beautiful Michaux State Forest. Site of the only known collection of Xanthoconium montaltense on 8 Sep 1985 by C. B. Wolfe -- see Ernst E. Both, The Boletes of North America p. 200 for a description -- and the site of hybrid studies of the American chestnut to develop resistance to the blight.
Brush up on your knowledge of the Civil War.

Faculty: Doug Bassett, Ernst Both, Bart Buyck, Glenn Freeman, Roy Halling, Gary Lincoff, Roz Lowen, Coleman McCleneghan, Walt Sturgeon, Rod Tulloss, Tom Volk, and Roy Watling.

Some planned events and attractions:
    all day trip to Colonel Denning State Park -- chanterelle heaven
    day trip to Gettysburg -- it is only about half an hour away -- if enough people sign up in advance
    Harper's Ferry is about an hour away
    the Penn National Golf Course is just down the road.

Powerpoint Presentation from the Plischke Family --This works well with the Netscape browser -- 600 x 800 display. (Use Internet Explorer only if you have a fast connection such as DSL or T1. With dial-on, it may time out because some of the image files are too big.)

More links:

Penn State Mont Alto College, campus map.
Travel directions.
Nearby stores and motelsMotels (click Travel Accomodations).

The nearest regional airport is Hagerstown, MD (HGR) -- 20 miles away.
The nearest Greyhound bus terminal is Union Bus Terminal, Chambersburg, PA -- 10 miles away.

Civil war sites nearby
Other sites nearby to visit

Registration form: Acrobat pdf format -- Word doc format

Tentative Program: Acrobat pdf format -- Word doc format

Committee and Contacts: (see below)
General Chair: Glenn Boyd
Programs: Susan Hopkins and Gary Emberger
Registration: John and Cheryl Dawson
Walks: Cathy Cholmeley-Jones
Exhibition: Walt Rode
Database and Recorder: Gene Yetter and Dorothy Smullen
Sorting: John Plischke III
Social: Rhoda Roper
Awards: John Plischke
Mycophagy: Bob Hosh
Art logo (possible display): Chris Snyder
Sales: John Plischke
Clean-up: Each club will supply a chair

Glenn Boyd                               181 Highland Ave, Montclair, NJ 07042  

Cathy Cholmeley-Jones             650 Bean Hill Rd, Lancaster PA 17603    

Cheryl Dawson                          393 Waters Rd, York PA 17403              

John Dawson                            393 Waters Rd, York PA 17403              

Gary Emberger                         414 Cocklin St, Mechanicsburg PA 17055

Susan Hopkins                          P.O. Box 291, Oldwick NJ 08858            

Bob Hosh                                  24 2nd St, Frenchtown NJ 08825            

John Plischke                           129 Grant St, Greensburg PA 15607        

John Plischke III                     201 Culbertson Av, Greensburg PA 15607

Dorothy Smullen                       141 River Rd, Millington NJ 07946          

Chris Snyder                            5879 Wanner Rd, Narvon PA 17555        

Return to this page for more information later on.

last update: July, 2005