• Heal Your Mind & Body at Dewa Spa

  • Study with World-Class Teachers

  • Practice in One of Our Unique Venues

  • Expand Your Awareness with Meditation

  • Go Hiking in the Catskill Mountains

  • Enjoy Delicious Nourishing Farm-to-Table Cuisine

  • Menla is a Project of Tibet House US,

    the Dalai Lama’s Cultural Center in NYC

  • Deluxe Queen – $824.00
  • Private Queen (Shared Bath) – $747.20
  • Deluxe Double Full - Shared bath (Shared Room) – $660.80
  • Deluxe Double Twin - Shared bath (Shared Room) – $627.20
  • Standard Single – $606.40
  • Standard Double (Shared Room) – $590.40
  • Camping – $450.00
  • Commuter – $424.00

Address: 375 Panterkill Road PO Box 70 Phoenicia, NY 12464 United States

Email us about program

Friends of Fungi: a Hiking, Foraging, & Mushroom Cultivation Retreat

With John Michelotti, Erwin Karl, Gabriela D’Elia and Aubrey Carter

June 2 - 4, 2023

From the largest living organism in the world to the creation of soil, fungi play an essential role for life on earth. They have been recycling and helping to heal the planet for centuries. Now we can partner with fungi to improve our lives through appreciating the food and medicines this extraordinary kingdom has to offer.

Join John Michelotti this June for an all-levels mushroom cultivation and foraging weekend workshop at Menla Retreat and Dewa Spa in Phoenicia, New York.

Participants will create/inoculate and take home:
– Indoor Oyster mushroom grow kit
– Outdoor Winecap Mushroom Starter
– Chaga tincture
– Foraging hand lens and Mushroom journal
– Deeper connection with fungi, nature, self, and friends

Come explore the interesting and ancient relationship fungi have with our world and our culture. Learn about kingdom fungi and mushrooms in history and as we currently know them. Discussions will include: biology and ecology of fungi, mushrooms as food and medicine, how fungal allies can create resilience in our agriculture and communities, gardening with mushrooms, and mushrooms to heal the planet.

Through fun hands-on activities, learn low-tech methods to cultivate gourmet and medicinal mushrooms, identify and harvest wild mushrooms, and make mushroom medicines.

To learn more about John Michelotti and his mycological offerings, please visit his website www.catskillfungi.com and enjoy an article from the New York Times.


Friday, June 2

  • 3 – 6 pm Check-in
  • 6 – 7 pm Dinner
  • 7:30 pm Evening Program Intro and Welcome Circle
    • Evening Presentation: Mushrooms 101 – Biology and Ecology of Fungi – John

Saturday, June 3

  • 8 – 9 am Breakfast
  • 9:30 am – 12:15 pm Mushroom Walk: How to identify mushrooms
  • 12:30 – 1:30 pm – Lunch
  • 1:30 – 2:30 pm Break
  • 2:30 – 4 pm Afternoon Program 1
    • Outdoor Inoculation: Wine-cap in Wood chips & Slurry – John
    • Kombucha, fermentation & growing beneficial mycobiomes – Erwin
  • 4 – 4:30 pm – Break
  • 4:30 – 6 pm – Afternoon Program 2 – Keynote
    • Medicinal Mushrooms: Health for the Body, Mind, and Planet
    • Chaga Tincture making workshop
  • 6 – 7 pm – Dinner
  • 7:30 – 9 pm – Evening Program
    • Foraged Mushroom Collection Review
    • Indoor Inoculation: Oysters on Sawdust. Grow your own oyster kit. – Gabriela & Aubrey
    • Myco-Technologies – John
  • 9 pm – Optional: open discussion at fire pit. Music Jam (bring instruments)

Sunday, June 4

  • 7 – 11 am Check-out of Rooms
  • 8 – 9 am Breakfast
  • 9:30 – 11:30 am Morning Program
    • Mushroom Walk
    • Mushroom Cooking Class & Tasting
    • Closing Circle
  • 12:30 – 1:30 pm Lunch and Departure

*Please note that the schedule is subject to change at any time. 


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 past president of the Mid-Hudson Mycological Association (MHMA) where he co-founded the Catskill Regional Mycoflora Project as well as the Gary Lincoff Memorial Scholarship. He served on the Mushroom Advisory Panel for Certified Naturally Grown to develop ecological standards in mushroom production. 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…
Learn more about John Michelotti
Erwin Karl
Erwin Karl is a farmer, mycologist and educator who has led walks and workshops for Catskill Fungi and Mid Hudson Mycological Association. He serves as site manager at the CycleX farm in Andes, NY where he has been involved in building maintenance, construction and agriculture for more than a decade. His projects in mycology, permaculture, beekeeping, canning, fermentation and wildcrafting build upon pursuits cultivated while growing up in a family that grew produce and kept livestock. He shares his interests by co-hosting the Farm Hour on WIOX (91.3 FM), writing plays about the Catskills for Preserve Players, and volunteering at…
Learn more about Erwin Karl
Gabriela D’Elia
Gabriela D’Elia is the Director of the Fungal Diversity Survey (FunDiS), VP for Mushroom Society of Utah, Project Leader for FunDiS Local Project Northern Utah Funga, and founder of her company Moon Mushrooms, which focuses on holistic mycology, crafting tiny batch tinctures, and MycoAstrology.
Learn more about Gabriela D’Elia
Aubrey Carter
Aubrey graduated from Indiana University in 2016 with a BS in Biology. He has worked at several different ecological institutions in and around the NYC area, including the Central Park Conservancy, the Westchester Land Trust, the Stamford Land Conservation Trust, and Sleepy Cat Farm. Currently the Assistant Ecological Manager at Manitou Point Preserve near Garrison, NY, Aubrey became deeply fascinated with fungi after reading Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake, and has since devoted much of his life to cultivating that curiosity.  Aubrey publishes a newsletter every Monday, entitled ‘Mushroom Monday’, which features photos and a profile of a different mushroom…
Learn more about Aubrey Carter


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375 Pantherkill Road, P.O. Box 70 Phoenicia, NY 12464