Instructors and Schedule

Mushroom Mountain Instructors

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.

What students are saying about Anne-Marie’s class :

“I had a really great experience during the training. All levels of knowledge and experience were encouraged to share. It was inspiring to be around so many mushroom enthusiasts and to see the different types of mushrooms available in different areas of the East coast.”

“Anne-Marie is a great instructor! She is a great asset to your team!”

“Great class and instructor, highly recommended!”

Anne-Marie’s classes:

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.



Brian’s classes:

Dr. Chris Neefus

The course will be taught by Chris Neefus. He has a PhD in Botany and is a Professor of Biology at the University of New Hampshire where teaches several courses including a full semester field and lab course on New England Mushrooms that covers mushroom ecology, taxonomy, identification, cultivation, and cooking. He is also a longtime member of the Boston Mycological Club where he has led numerous mushroom walks and has served on the club’s ID and Executive Committees.

Chris recently moved to Sandwich, New Hampshire. In his spare time, he is an avid forager and grows a variety of mushrooms including shiitakes, oysters, lion’s manes, and nameko.




Dr. Chris’ classes: 

Kenny Rupert

KennyRupertKenny Rupert has been building his mycological expertise for over 23 years, studying the nuances of fungi identification while keeping up with the ever-changing taxonomy.  He has held positions as the business manager and wild edibles teacher for No Taste Like Home, teacher for Mushroom Mountain’s Wild Mushroom Certification class, and local mushroom expert and manager for Wild Purveyors.  He is the administrator of several identification groups throughout the United States and a few internationally.  Today he leads mushroom tours all over North Carolina and across the Southeast.


What students are saying about Kenny’s class:

“Just writing to say what a fab class it was! I’ve had my mushroom knowledge expanded exponentially, I’m feeling inspired to learn more, and that Kenny did great! He was quick to respond with tidbits and knowledge and reached to answer all of our questions, while admitting if he didn’t know something. What a rad time!! 

Kenny’s classes:

Stesha Warren

Stesha WarrenStesha 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.

Stesha’s classes: 

Christine Gagnon

Although Christine was first introduced to edible wild mushrooms as a child in Quebec, she did not begin her deep dive into mushroom identification until 2018. At that point she jumped in with both feet and over her head to absorb as much information as quickly as possible. Christine has an art education degree from Massachusetts College of Art, but now uses her education experience to teach others about mushrooms. She started her own company called Uncanoonuc Foraging Company where she leads group and private walks in several states to introduce people to the world of culinary mushrooms. She is also a founder of NH Myco Weekend where enthusiasts gather to learn and to spend time with others in the local Myco community.
Her philosophy is that no matter how much you know, there is always more to learn and there are people who know things you don’t. We all learn from each other. 
Christine lives in New Hampshire with Her husband Paul who is a potter, and her two dogs. They have 3 adult children but are now navigating life as empty nesters. 
Christine has been featured on NH Chronicle, NHPR, NPR’s Here and Now, Diary of a Nation Podcast, and The Hippo.
“I *HIGHLY* recommend Christine’s mushroom walks. I’ve taken a few mushroom walks with a few different pros, and Christine is just the best- especially for beginners. The information she gives is thorough but not overwhelming. She makes mushrooms approachable for any purpose- no matter what what your goal. She answers all questions with enthusiasm and an obvious love for what she does. She’s terrific with all ages- seniors, families, and even extremely loud and inquisitive 13 year old boys who already “know it all” … 😉
Christine’s classes: 

ID Class Daily Schedule

Day 1:

9:00am Arrive and Registration
9:15am Permit 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
10:30am Mushroom Hunt and Collections
Noon Lunch (not included in price, please bring your own), Photos for IDs
1:00pm Gallery of Tested Species and Lookalikes. Dissections and Specimen Discussions, Fresh and Dried
3:00-4:00pm Dissections and Specimen Discussions, Fresh and Dried
4:00-5:00pm Review 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