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Fun with fungus in Estacada

ESTACADA NEWS PHOTO: EMILY LINDSTRAND - A variety of mushrooms were on display in the Estacada community during the towns Festival of the Fungus. Pictured are amanita muscaria and flavivolvata

Estacada’s fifth-annual Festival of the Fungus gave the dirt on mushrooms to participants from all over Oregon.

Over the weekend, mushroom lovers gathered in the town’s community center to have mushrooms identified, to buy mushroom related items, to look at mushroom art and to admire a mushroom display.

Connie Redmond, the festival’s coordinator, said an aspect of the event’s value is putting Estacada on the map.ESTACADA NEWS PHOTO: EMILY LINDSTRAND - Jeanine May with her truffle dog.

“It’s a good event for Estacada,” she said. “People come from all over. They get to discover Estacada.”

The festival brought a variety of people to town, among them ebbie and Dane Dunaway who traveled from Astoria.

“We like mushrooms,” Debbie Dunaway said. “We like picking them. We just don’t always know which ones to pick.”

The Dunaways’ favorite part of the festival was the mushroom display.

Site coordinator Grant Williams, who assisted with one of the mushroom forays, came from Southeast Portland for the event.

“I have a passion for fungus. I like to engage with it. It’s neat to find the fungi,” Williams said. “We found 40 different species on the foray.”

This interest in mushrooms was shared by the festival’s vendors.

Jeanine May was at the event with her company Pacific Truffle Dogs.

“I love seeing all types of mushrooms. It’s an incredible world,” she said. “And I want to inform the public about the dogs. Their sense of smell is incredible. They can find tiny truffles buried in the earth.”

ESTACADA NEWS PHOTO: EMILY LINDSTRAND - Fifth Kingdom Photography had a variety of work on display.

Christine of Fifth Kingdom Photography, another vendor, likes photographing mushrooms because it combines her interests in art and science.

“I’m passionate about them from multiple perspectives,” she said.

Outside of the Estacada Community Center, many restaurants around town served special mushroom-centric dishes.

Harmony Baking Company offered savory chanterelle mushroom crepes, chanterelle omelets, wild mushroom hash and eggs, potatoes and biscuits with mushroom gravy.

“We wanted to be creative and serve mushrooms in different ways,” said Linda Lawrence of Harmony Baking Company.

Lawrence likes the festival because it brings new people to Estacada.

“I like seeing the new faces in town,” she said. “Everyone has always wondered about mushrooms, but sometimes they’re afraid to pick them. This helps them learn.”