MAPLEWOOD, NJ - In warm wet weather mushrooms pop up overnight in our yards in a fascinating array. No need to look on Mars for alien life forms; mushrooms are stranger than anything you could imagine. They can be exquisite in color and form, delicious or deadly. Some glow in the dark, or have a fragrance of maple sugar; others smell of rotting meat. What are they, really?
On June 9 at 2 PM, at the Durand-Hedden House, located at 523 Ridgewood Road, Patricia McNaught of the NJ Mycological Association will demystify these amazing members of the Kingdom of Fungi. In some ways, mushrooms are more closely related to animals than plants, taking in oxygen for their digestion and metabolism and "exhaling" carbon dioxide. The part of the fungus that we see is only the “fruit” of the organism, the rest of which is hidden underground.
Mushrooms grow from spores, not seeds, and a single mature mushroom will drop as many as 16 billion! Long known to be a source of powerful nutrients, we largely ignore this healthy food. Yet, more adventurous people are learning from experts like the NJ Mycological Association how to forage for edible mushrooms in the wild - - even in New Jersey! This is a free event, donations are gladly accepted.
From 1:00 to 4:00 PM visitors will also be able to view the exhibit After the Hickories: Roosevelt Park, and the Country Store will be open, with its unique selection of souvenirs and books. At 4:15 PM there will be a brief Annual Meeting of the Durand-Hedden House and Garden Association.
The Durand-Hedden House and surrounding Grasmere Park were designated a Maplewood Historic Landmark in 2006. The Durand-Hedden House and Garden Association is dedicated to telling the story of the development of Maplewood and the surrounding area in new and engaging ways. For more information, call 973-763-7712. The Durand-Hedden House is located at 523 Ridgewood Road in Maplewood.
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