Although Chaga season is all year long, the winter wild crafting is in full swing. There’s fair debate on when the best time to harvest Chaga is. I have found in research that Chaga may contain the most nutrients in the winter months. This also point to Chaga taking those nutrients from the Birch tree in a time when the tree needs them most. Using sustainable methods I ensure the Chaga will regrow with the tree living longer at the same time. In the spirit of this I find myself in the forest doing what I do. The atmosphere in the colder months defines Chaga to me, it is designed to survive the harsh winter. Coated with a thick, black layer that seals in the magic Chaga contains, while protecting it from the harsh climate. Chaga only grows in the high elevations in our region where the temperature and conditions change dramatically. I resonate with the cold times of year having grown up in upstate New York and find it be refreshing, you can say I feel at home in the woods in the winter. Bringing the best, nutrient rich Chaga to my products is very important to me. This time of year is one of the most productive for me as far as foraging and making medicine is concerned, I produce the bulk of all my products during these times. Besides it being Chaga time, another favorite is thriving in the colder temperatures, Lions Mane.
Lions Mane is a cold weather mushroom, growing on the trunks of dying trees. Lions Mane has gained a lot of attention recently for it’s powerful medicinal properties and rightfully so. This mushroom has been showing amazing results in regards to cognitive function and helping to fight against Alzheimer and Dementia. It works to generate new brain cells, improving memory and focus. It also is a powerful tool when it comes to nerve damage, showing it may speed up healing. Lions Mane has other wonderful benefits such as that it is Anti-Oxidant, Anti-Inflammatory and has immune boosting qualities. Lions Mane lowers risk of Heart disease, cancer, ulcers and diabetes. You want more, it is showing that it can relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety. I have learned the best way to get results is to eat it fresh with tinctures and powders next in line. I make tinctures from wild crafted Lions Mane in vegetable glycerin and also a double extracted alcohol base. Lions Mane can a tricky one to find, it’s not as abundant as many others. When you find a good one however it can go a long way! Might I add it tastes like crab meat is quite delicious to eat.
Here’s a few informational links: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/lions-mane-mushroom#section10
I do have one last market of the year and would love to see all of you there, it is at the East Asheville Tail Gate holiday market, Friday, December 13th from 3-6pm. That is at 954 Tunnel road at Groce United Methodist Church. This will be inside the church. Please come out and support all of us local vendors. I am grateful for all the new and old customers that I always call friends, for all the support from those near and far. You all help to keep my dream alive and feed the passion I have to bring people healthy, healing medicine from the forest. Happy holidays to you all. I am super excited to see what the new year will bring.