Ari is an ardent mycophile who enjoys nothing more than the exhilarating feeling of the mushroom hunt. Over the past few years he has found hundreds of pounds of gourmet and medicinal wild mushrooms, and he loves sharing his knowledge with blog readers. Ari does not just write about mushrooms – he is a dynamic teacher and leader of mushroom foraging and cultivation workshops.
Ari became an expert in shiitake cultivation after managing Cornell University’s Mushroom Research Project and the MacDaniels Nut Grove, Cornell’s forest farming demonstration site. He has a BA from Brown University, where he studied Buddhist philosophy as well as environmental policy and ethics. When he is not out in the woods filling baskets with mushrooms, Ari enjoys writing songs and playing music with friends.
Born and raised in Western Massachusetts, Jenna is currently an ecological landscape designer in the Burlington, Vermont area. She completed a graduate program (MLA) in Landscape Architecture at Cornell University. Professionally, she is most interested in ecologically responsible design and creating landscapes that connect humans with nature. Jenna received her B.A. from Brown University, where she studied architecture and environmental issues with a focus on sustainable agriculture. Jenna is a passionate chef who loves to use fresh local ingredients and wild mushrooms. When not foraging and hiking, she enjoys a daily yoga practice and photography.
Judah is the resident mushroom foraging pup, always accompanying Jenna and Ari on their forays. He has a contagious zest for life, and he enjoys nothing more than sprinting through open fields futilely chasing sparrows, or patiently stalking the scents of squirrels and chipmunks in the woods. He has not demonstrated much interest in mushrooms yet, which is probably a good thing. However, Ari secretly wants to train Judah to sniff out patches of the most gourmet and rare wild mushrooms. There are no truffles in the Northeast where Jenna and Ari live, but why couldn’t a dog be trained to sniff out morels or porcinis, even black trumpets? Judah sure can cover a lot more ground than any two-legged creature on a short hike!