FARMINGTON — Mushroom expert and author Greg Marley will do a one-hour presentation titled, “Maine’s Wild Mushrooms: Forest Ecology and the World of Mycelium,” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 11, in the University of Maine at Farmington’s Robert’s Learning Center in room C23 at 224 Main St.

Marley’s free talk, sponsored by Western Maine Audubon, will delve into the role of fungi in forest health and the complex interconnected web of life beneath our feet. The focus will be on edible and medicinal mushrooms while also underscoring the cautionary tale of poisonous mushrooms, according to a news release from the organization.

From mid-summer through the fall and the first hard freeze, Maine’s forests and fields are a kaleidoscope of mushrooms of every color and shape. We are drawn to their variety of forms and the mystery of edibility and toxicity. The woods are awash in foragers and those drawn to their simple beauty. Yet the mushrooms we see are just the tip of the mycological iceberg. With every step we take along a woodland path and into the deep duff of the forest floor, we tread upon miles of fungal hyphae, interwoven in a complex network we call “mycelium,” according to the release.

Marley, a mycologist, has been collecting, studying, eating, growing and teaching mushrooms for more than 45 years. He shares his love affair with mushrooms through walks, talks and classes held throughout New England. He is the founder of Mushrooms for Health, a small company providing medicinal mushroom education and products made with Maine medicinal mushrooms, according to the release.

Marley also is the author of “Mushrooms for Health: Medicinal Secrets of Northeastern Fungi,” (Downeast Books, 2009) and the award-winning “Chantelle Dreams, Amanita Nightmares: The Love, Lore, and Mystic of Mushrooms,” (Chelsea Green, 2010).

As a volunteer mushroom identification consultant for the Poison Control Centers of New England, he provides expertise in mushroom poisoning cases. He lives and mushrooms with his family along the coast of Maine, according to the release.

For more information, email Nancy Knapp at [email protected].

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