Instructors and Schedule

Mushroom Mountain Instructors

Tradd Cotter (program creator)

Tradd Cotter is a microbiologist, professional mycologist, and organic gardener, who has been tissue culturing, collecting native fungi in the Southeast, and cultivating both commercially and experimentally for more than twenty-two years. In 1996 he founded Mushroom Mountain, which he owns and operates with his wife, Olga, to explore applications for mushrooms in various industries and currently maintains over 200 species of fungi for food production, mycoremediation of environmental pollutants, and natural alternatives to chemical pesticides. His primary interest is in low-tech and no- tech cultivation strategies so that anyone can grow mushrooms on just about anything, anywhere in the world. Mushroom Mountain is currently expanding to 42,000 square feet of laboratory and research space near Greenville, South Carolina, to accommodate commercial production, as well as mycoremediation projects.

Adam Fisher

adam fisherAdam Fisher is native to North Carolina and has loved nature his whole life. This love led him into permaculture and biodynamic agriculture with a mission of healing the Earth. Out of this mission mushrooms have come to the forefront. He has been cultivating and foraging mushrooms for 10 years. He is certified to harvest wild mushrooms for resale in VA, NC, SC and GA. It is with deep gratitude that he is joining Mushroom Mountain to teach the wild harvesting course. He is primarily focused on increasing the availability of safely harvested wild mushrooms as well as raising awareness about perennial foods. In addition to mushrooms Adam enjoys keeping bees, fermenting food with a focus on perennial crops, alternative native foods and spices.

Brian Hale

brian haleBrian has studied and practiced wilderness survival for more than thirty years. He leads commissioned hikes and events on private land teaching folks how to utilize many of our natural resources. These events cover game sign interpretation & tracking, orienteering, making shelter, clothing, tools, fire and identifying a number of edible plants and mushrooms. He owns and operates Yahoola Valley Mushrooms in Dahlonega, Georgia through which he provides wild foraged and cultivated mushrooms to farmers markets and fine dining restaurants. Brian is the founder and moderator of the Facebook group “Mushroom Hunters of North Georgia”. Brian spends most of his free time in the woods foraging, observing wildlife and expanding his knowledge of the land and the treasures it has to offer.

Anne-Marie Bilella

Anne-Marie is the Farmer, the Baker and the Medicine-Maker at Bella Vista Farm in GA. She is skilled in herbal medicine, wild weeds, mushrooms and natural products made from herbs. Anne-Marie was self-taught in her herbal studies until 2014 when she completed a 10 month hands-on intensive herbal course with Patricia Kyritsi Howell of BotanoLogos School of Herbal Studies. She is certified as a Wild Mushroom Forager and Seller as well as an instructor for the Wild Mushroom Safety Course with Mushroom Mountain.

Currently, Anne-Marie creates her own herbal products with her Forager Chick line and teaches homesteaders about herbal medicine, medicinal mushrooms and wild plant identification. She is a homesteader, author and writer for her own blog and has written articles for other blogs, Aroma Culture Magazine and for Mother Earth News – Herbal Living blog.

Kenny Rupert

kenny rupertKenny Rupert is a lover of all things mushroom. His curiosity began when growing shiitake and other edibles in the late nineties. While getting his Bachelor of Science at University North Carolina at Charlotte, much of his focus centered on basic grow techniques, shifting to wild edibles and taxonomy when he returned to his home state of North Carolina after a few years in Florida. He soon met Alan Muskat, who he later assisted at his business, No Taste Like Home, based in Asheville, NC.

Kenny aided in the growth of No Taste Like Home which was featured in many well known publications including The New York Times, Forbes, Conde Nast Traveler, The Washington Post, along with other well known publications. Kenny became manager of the business as well as a wild edibles teacher. After moving from Asheville, he started his own business, where he leads mushroom walks to this day.

He has spent tireless hours studying the nuances of fungi identification while trying to keep up with the ever changing taxonomy. He is the administrator of several Identification groups throughout the United States as well as some internationally. Kenny is currently an administrator, guide/identifier, and an advisory member of the Mushroom Club of Charlotte, as well as a member of COMA and NAMA. In previous years he has been a member of SCUMS and The AMC. He is a graduate of the Outward Bound Leadership School, has accreditations in Mushroom Mountain’s growing class and mycoremediation class, and is Wild Mushroom Food Safety Certified.

Kenny currently resides northeast of New York City and is happily making his way into the local mycological scene. He spent last fall documenting species in local parks and looks forward to continuing his explorations throughout the Northeast.

Stesha Warren

Stesha fell in love with the forest as a child growing up the North Carolina mountains. Raised with a horticultural background, she is a herbalist with a focus on women’s health. Her love of the forest, fungi, simplicity and nutrition has led to over 20 years of foraging experience. She and her husband own and operate Eliana’s Garden LLC in Stoneville, North Carolina. Her business is primarily focused on medicinal and culinary forest crops with an emphasis on species awareness and preservation of native botanicals. As a licensed nationwide nursery they offer these special native and permaculture plants for sale and preservation education.

She cultivates a selection of outdoor mushrooms, fungi value added products, and in the summer of 2019 will begin indoor mushroom cultivation working closely with a university for research. Stesha has a passion for fungi, sustainable agriculture and community. She hopes to educate her community on the value of plants and fungi around them. With a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Education and a love for the outdoors she develops and teaches classes on foraging at Rockingham Community College, classes on mushroom production, foraging, forest farming, and homesteading skills at their farm, and is proud to be an approved instructor for Mushroom Mountain teaching wild mushroom safety and identification classes. In her spare time she enjoys spending time in the forest with her husband and two young children as well creating wild crafted culinary delights.

Laura Stewart

Laura Stewart is the owner of Haw River Mushrooms farm located in Saxpahaw, NC, a family farm specializing in hard wood mushrooms that grows over 400 pounds of shiitake, lions mane, oyster, cinnamon cap and other seasonal mushrooms each week in an indoor, temperature controlled environment. She’s also an active mushroom forager and educator, teaching classes on edible mushrooms, log inoculation, and using mushrooms in the garden.  She is proud to be an instructor for the Wild Mushroom Safety Course..  You can learn more about her work at

John Michelotti

John Michelotti is the founder of Catskill Fungi which empowers people with fungi through outdoor educational classes, cultivation courses, mushroom art, and mushroom health extracts. John is a former President of the Mid-Hudson Mycological Association (MHMA) where he co-founded the Catskill Region Mycoflora Project. He was chosen by the Catskill Center as a “Steward of the Catskills” for his contribution to the environment. His goal is to educate and inspire people to pair with fungi to improve health, communities, and the environment.

William Padilla-Brown

Founder of MycoSymbiotics, William Padilla-Brown is a social entrepreneur, citizen scientist, mycologist, amateur ‘phychologist’, urban shaman, writer, you-tube vlogger, contributing editor for Fungi mag, researcher, poet, and father. William holds Permaculture Design Certificates acquired through Susquehanna Permaculture and NGOZI. William is leading the country in the field of Cordyceps cultivation. William regularly teaches at mushroom clubs around the country, festivals, Agricultural conferences, and more.

ID Class Daily Schedule

Day 1:

9:00amArrive and Registration
9:15amPermit Overview and Guideline, Exam Description
Proper Handling, Storage, Packaging, Safety Regulations Ethics and Protecting Forests, Picking for Resale, State by State Guidelines, Deadly and Poisonous Toxins and Treatments
10:30amEcology Walk and Collections
NoonLunch (not included in price, please bring your own), Photos for IDs
1:00pmGallery of Tested Species and Lookalikes. Dissections and Specimen Discussions, Fresh and Dried
3:00-4:00pmDissections and Specimen Discussions, Fresh and Dried
4:00-5:00pmReview for Exam 1

Day 2:

9:00amArrive and Exam 1
10:00amGallery of Permitted Mushrooms Species and Features
11:00am-1:00 pmLunch Break & Review for Exam on your own, looping study slides
1:00-5:00pmFinal Exam