Arboretum hosts The Kingdom Fungi event

Palomar College’s Friends of the Arboretum host The Kingdom Fungi event “The Magic of Culinary and Medicinal Mushrooms Workshop,” Saturday Nov. 2, 2013.

Steve Farrar the manager at is the guest speaker at the free workshop going from 10:00 a.m.-noon.  He visits Palomar every year and holds workshops for other locations.  A list is available by email

Steve’s overall goal for the class is that the students get a chance to understand the health, medicinal and product potential for mushrooms.  “All the information I show is to challenge the students to educate themselves on all the health products on the market,” Farrar said.

“When people (the masses) hear medicinal mushrooms they (the masses) say I rather just take an Advil and people miss out on the experience,” said Palomar student Nichole Gilbert.  Mushrooms have a none credible association to the name.  Most people think of magic mushrooms when talking about medicinal mushrooms.

Steve introduces Kingdom Fungi with over 5 million different species and more being found.  There are currently over 10,000 different edible species.

“Fungi is different than plants and animals as they have cells walls made up of chitin,” said Steve. The fruiting body or the part of the mushroom that is seen above ground is the last stage of the life cycle most of the actual organism is located underground known as a mycelium.  The cap is used for reproduction.

In the past mushrooms have gotten a bad image.  The first ever Mushrooms and Health Summit is an attempt to fix that association said Farrar.  Held in Washington D.C. on Sept. 9, 2013 the Summit recognized mushrooms as having health potential in the areas of weight management, immunity, vitamin D and more.  To view the meeting and the agenda at the Health Summit please visit

Some of the edible mushrooms cannot be grown inside. Because they need to be grown next to a specific organism to grow effectively, most edible mushrooms are harvested in the wild.  “It makes it difficult to grow mushrooms inside.  Some of the mushrooms that you see in the store are picked in the wild.”  said Farrar

“You are now seeing more Doctors on television promoting mushrooms…  Doctor Oz from Oprah talks about fungi more as having health benefits, said Farrar…”  Doctor Weil is shown in Steve’s slides as having an anti inflammatory pyramid and Doctor Fuhrman promotes natural health uses for mushrooms.

On North Twin Oaks road there is a Japanese mushroom factory, the Hokto Kinoko Company.  They grow over 1 million pounds of mushrooms a year and reside in California.  Farrar shows in his slides that the growers here have a very clean and sanitary system which provides a consistent quality product.

The Hokto Kinoko Company grows the King Trumpet, Maitake, Brown and White Beech mushrooms.  King Trumpet “This is like eating a steak,” says Steve.  The Hokto Kinoko Company website,, gives readers a chance to view recipe tips, benefit guides and links viewers with upcoming events.

Matt Hunter enjoys talks about edible mushrooms, “they are very interesting and help people understand the benefits about a little known topic.”

“I really enjoyed the workshop a lot, Steve was a very knowledgeable and passionate speaker.”  Kuresh Azami a Palomar student said he knew about the benefits of edible mushrooms in a diet.  “ It (the workshop) was definitely worth the time.”

“I am a whole food mushroom guy not an extract guy. With the extracts you leave behind some of the benefits,” said Steve.  Mushrooms can provide different benefits and boost your: immune health, sports performance, joint support, anti aging, cognitive function, heart health, blood sugar centering, weight management, and stress management. “This is for informational use only and as always do your research.”

“I know that always having fresh mushrooms in the fridge is sometimes difficult so there are extracts on the market for times when fresh mushrooms are not available,” said Steve.

Mi Matrix’s, the official company name, mission is to educate and inspire people to use mushrooms as an alternative in promoting healthy habits according to  There processing is 100% organic and there mission is to provide the buyer with the best possible quality mushroom product.  Mi Matrix is a Southern California company that grows and produces here in our region.

“Mushrooms are decomposers of life,” said Farrar.  “I want you to go home with the desire to use more mushrooms in your life.”

For more information about Mushrooms or Steve Farrar and the Mi Matrix company please visit


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