With fall here among us I’ve decided to dedicate the rest of the season to foraging for medicine making. So I won’t be doing any more walks this year. It’s a great time to be out in the forest and I hope you all go exploring. Walks will resume in the spring with some Morel hunting.
For me the hunt for Maitake is a challenging one, some years it is elusive and others I find a bunch. I refer to as the ghost mushroom, as it goes unseen. I have found Lions Mane in unlikely places and Turkey Tail is showing up every where I go. Not to mention the great Chaga outings to come. I will bring fresh finds of Chicken of the Wood, Honey mushrooms, and Oysters to the market each week I’m there if your interested in those.
Into the chilly morning air
I go alone
to search for
for healing potions.
to search for dancing mushrooms
Turkey Tails and Lions Mane.
Into the falling leaves
red, yellow, purple, orange
strolling about as acorns fall
to the forest floor.
Their colors disguise
the Chicken of the Wood and the Oyster,
growing wild and unnoticed.
It's quiet here, peaceful.
The mushrooms appear
one by one by one
and soon my basket shall be full.
Into the woods I go
in the afternoon delight.
Fall has arrived and with it brings the end of the abundant mushroom season. However there are several things still out to be on the look for. I am planning to do a few more walks in October if it works out. This year has been my best yet for walks and I want to thank all those who joined me. The interest in learning is alive and well and thriving in our area for sure. In market news, many markets are planning on winter markets this year and I hope to be a part of those, more information with dates and which markets is coming soon. For now I’m still doing Weaverville and East Asheville on Wednesdays and Fridays, running through the end of this month. This week I will be at both. As fall and winter set in, it is prime time for me to be out Chaga hunting. I’m fully stocked with all my products, so contact me with any needs or wants you may have. So let’s get into it!
Out this month and pretty much ending the season as a whole are these wonderful mushrooms: Honey, Beefsteak, Chickens, Hens, Blewits, Puffballs, Lions Mane, Turkey Tail, Bears Head Tooth. You will see others as well but these make up the edible treasures. Honey mushrooms are known as the largest living organism on earth, measuring 2.4 miles across in Oregon. Honeys are great tasting, especially the stringy stems. They often grow in clusters and always on wood. They have white spore prints, often with a veil around the stem and sometimes with black hairs on the cap. There are Ringless Honeys, which can be smooth on top and no veil. The Deadly Galerina is the look alike to Honeys, they are smoother on the cap and darker orange color and have dark gills. Honeys have white gills. Miatake, Hen of the Woods are a favorite edible of mine taste wise. They are also wonderful medicine, as is Lions Mane. The Bears Head Tooth mushroom taste very similar to Lions Mane and it’s medicinal properties are showing promise much the same as Lions Mane. Blewits and Chickens should stick around through the month and one not pictured here is the Fall Oyster, sometimes called Golden Oysters, which I have found in the winter months before. Here’s a helpful link having to do with Honey mushrooms with a few recipes included: https://foragerchef.com/honey-mushrooms-the-pride-of-eastern-europe/
I want to take a minute and thank everyone who supports what I do….I am grateful to each of you!! I have met so many wonderful people through this work and feel blessed not only to share my passion but live it everyday. Enjoy the changing days and embrace the fall, it’s a pretty season in these mountains and it’s last chance to gather some mushrooms for awhile.
Summer has had it’s glorious season for this crazy year and is winding down, welcoming in fall. This year in mushroom foraging has been an abundant one. The Morals were great, followed by an amazing Reishi bounty, Chicken of the Woods and Chanterelles didn’t disappoint, so what’s next? Fall will see some of the best varieties popping out. Before I talk about those I’d like to give some updates……
The markets are still going strong and to finish August I’ll be doing this Fridays market at East Asheville. From 3-6pm at 954 Tunnel rd., Groce United Methodist church. I won’t be back at this market until the end of September. I will be at the Weaverville market on September 2nd, which is from 2:30-6pm at Reems Creek Nursery, 76 Monticello Rd. I’ll return to that market at the end of the month. September will be my last month for mushroom walks for the year and I will try to get some in at the end of the month. Contact me either by phone or email to set one up!
****I’ll be out of town until the 22nd of September, so won’t be able to schedule any walks or fill any orders until then. *****
The fall mushrooms are arriving! Turkey Tail is full swing and to me one of the most important mushrooms in the forest. Turkey Tail is a powerful cancer fighter, immune booster and aids in digestion. Simply making a tea out of this mushroom will benefit you greatly. I make tinctures from turkey Tail as well. you can real Turkey tail from the false by looking at the bottom of it, it’ll be white and almost like a sandpaper on the bottom. Here is a good article on it: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/turkey-tail-mushroom
Another highly medicinal mushroom popping out is Lions Mane. It’s hard to mistake this mushroom for any other. It’s toothed, solid white and most often found on dying or dead trees. Lions Mane has a seafood flavor and tastes great, besides that it is a powerful medicine, good for your heart, immune system and most especially your brain health! Keeping with the medicinal ‘shrooms, Maitake, Hen of the Woods or the dancing mushroom, is yet another fall specimen. Maitake is like Turkey Tail and Lions Mane is great for boosting your immune system, helps combat diabetes, lowers cholesterol and lowers blood pressure. It’s a cancer fighter and fights infections, making it an important mushroom in these times of viruses. Plus it tastes great!
Chicken of the Wood will be around for another few months, as well as Oysters, which see a late fall, golden colored variety. Boletes are still around a bit longer and Chanterelles are winding down. The Blue Indigo milk caps, a personal favorite, are unmistakable and out in full force right now. This month will see Puffballs emerge, open them up, if white inside they are good to eat, if any other color throw them out! There is also a Giant Puffball which grow quite large. Lastly is the Honey mushroom. There are two varieties, the ringed and ringless Honeys. They can be smooth on the cap or speckled and the ringed get a distinct veil on the stem. Identifying Honey mushrooms can be easy, but it’s a see it, touch it, smell it kind of thing. I recommend people get out on a walk with an expert to be sure. There is a toxic look alike called the Deadly Galerina that is quite similar, but looking at them side by side in the forest you’d see the big differences. Honeys are a choice edible, with the stringy stems being some of the best parts.
As always I have a full stock of my medicinal tinctures and dried mushrooms for tea making available. Welcome in fall by getting out and enjoying the cooler weather and do some mushroom hunting!
Well friends and fellow mushroom people, the summer seems to be moving fast as we enter the last month of it. However that doesn’t mean the end of mushroom abundance! As the seasons change so do the different types of mushrooms that are growing. As every year is different in the mushroom world, this year has seen a blast of Reishi come on, a strange Chanterelle showing and lots of Milky and Bolete mushrooms as usual. Part of the fun of the hunt is never knowing what you’ll find, I’ve visited spots that were abundant every year that have been slightly barren this year and I have also found new spots that were flourishing. It’s always interesting to observe and record, to be caught off guard and to find just what your looking for at the exact time your looking for it. For example I had a memory pop up on my photo stream from a year ago of Lobster mushrooms, I went to the spot and sure enough there they were! This is a general, great rule, that when you find mushrooms like Chicken of the Wood or Chanterelles in a spot, remember that because the next year they will return to that very spot. I’ve been selling quite a bit of fresh picked wild mushrooms, especially Chanterelles, if you’d like some contact me by phone or email, I have a list of people to notify when I have fresh ones, if you’d like to be on that list let me know, plenty of time in the season still to add some wild mushrooms to your dinner!
***I deliver if local to Asheville area, also willing to meet in between if not too far***
I’ve had a great time leading walks this year so far and plan to continue through the fall as mushrooms like Honeys, Hen of the Wood and Lions Mane begin to grow. It’s worked out for those interested in doing a walk to contact me directly via email or by phone, that way I have been able to work with peoples schedules. I will be doing the tailgates as usual, however this month I will be at East Asheville on the 31st of July and then again the 14th and 28th of this month. I’m only doing one Weaverville market on the 19th. I hope to have some fresh Chanterelles and other kinds of wild mushrooms at those markets, as well as my usual medicinal tinctures and dried mushrooms for teas.
Here’s some gems you might find out there right now. All these are edible and tasty in my opinion. I have found the Leather backs are super good on the grill! I cut off the caps and grill those and saute the stems. The Bolete family of mushrooms is a generally safe family, with very few being toxic, however many are bitter tasting. Boletes have no gills instead they have a spongy under bottom and can sometimes change colors when bruised. Although there is edible Boletes that turn blue, I play it safe and stay away from those. Also red bottomed Boletes I stay away from. The Beef Steak is one of the only mushrooms you can eat raw in our woods and tastes great when marinated. The Lobster mushroom is a unique one and actually considered a parasitic mold. It often attaches itself to Russula mushrooms and completely devours it! Often found in piney areas. If you see a mound of pine needles, take a look underneath and you may find a surprise.
The Corals are also a generally safe family with some exceptions of coarse. Always stay away from yellow corals for one, Corals over all are very hard to digest and the most sought after one is the Crown Tipped Coral, pictured above with tiny crowns on the tips.
It has been used traditionally for pain relief, help getting to sleep and anxiety issues. The other plant here is one of my favorites to say and hear people repeat, Pipsissewa. This is an obvious Cherokee named plant. Pipsissewa is used in whole plant form, making a tea or tincture from it. It is used for Urinary issues, especially UTIs and bladder stones. It is also useful for anxiety and as an anticancer plant. It gets a pretty little flower as well.
Being such an awesome year for Reishi mushroom I wanted to display this beauty! Found this recently growing solo, it’s a rare thing to find one like this with the distinct stem. It’s said the most medicinal concentration is in that stem. Reishi is said to slow the aging process among a long list of benefits, making it the mushroom of immortality. We’ve had some lovely rain storms this summer so far and recently, making it a wonderland of mushroom love in the forest, get out there, learn and find some wild foraged dinner! Contact me anytime for questions or orders: (828) 423-3875, I respond quicker to texts, or via email at email@example.com