It’s kind of unbelievable that it’s already May! As I get older this seems the norm, time just flying by. Like many mushroom hunters, I get excited this time of year, watching new flowers blooming, seeing mushrooms reemerge and the natural world turning green again. However we are in the middle months, by that I mean the Morels come and go and then we have a space of a month or two before the real hunting begins. Right now this month we are seeing Fawn, Wood Ear, and Pheasant Back mushrooms growing, all edible and fun to find. I’ll talk more about these and what else to look out for further down in the newsletter.
As for some updates, I’m excited to see the opening of the Black Mountain Tailgate Market this Saturday! I will be there vending. The market is it’s usual time of 9-12 in the morning. The location is slightly changed and there are of coarse distancing rules in place. Here is a statement from the market:
Here are the Market Rules for the BMTM, starting on May 2. Hours are the same 9-noon. Held in the South Parking lot at the First Baptist Church. Entry into market area is from the back of the church.
1. No one exhibiting symptoms may enter the market.
2. Maintain 6 ft of social distance at all times.
3. One customer per vendor at a time.
4. No pets allowed.
5. Children must be closely supervised.
6. Only handle product you are purchasing.
7. Contact-less payment forms preferred.
8. Total number of shoppers in market area restricted.
9. Face covering is desired and encouraged.
We’re sorry to have to do this and we hope things will open up sometime in the near future. We appreciate your cooperation. There is also more info on their facebook page.
All my products are in stock again and I recently purchased a new grinder to make Chaga powder more available. ***I plan to resume mushroom/plant identification walks in June and can’t wait as I love to teach and meet folks. ****
With the mushrooms returning, my favorite right now is the emerging of the Reishi! You may see the young growths, the bubbles, all over the pines and hemlocks in some places, I know I have. Reishi can be a slow grower and it’s important to let them mature before picking, the reason for this is to let it gain it’s medicinal potential, as well as be able to drop it’s spores to bring more Reishi. When they turn mostly red on top and have just small outer bands of white or yellow they are ready, for some this may take until June but some grow faster and are ready earlier. The outer bands of white and yellow are edible and tasty. Some research I have found indicates that there is a highly concentrated amount of medicinal value in the stems and letting those stems form is important. I have been drying some recent mature harvests to make tinctures from and have available in dry pieces. Reishi is the calming mushroom, used for centuries by Buddhist monks to find calm in the mind and body during meditation. It is good to help sleep and calm anxiety. Reishi is a tumor fighter and recognized to fight cancer. It detoxifies the liver and kidney and is highly anti-inflammatory. Reishi promotes a healthy respiratory system, slows the aging process and helps lower blood pressure. It’s the queen of medicinal mushrooms, as Chaga is the king. I have more info on Reishi under the mushroom info tab. I have dried Reishi available in pint sized mason jars for $25, premade teabags 4 teabags for $15 or in tincture form, 1 and 2 oz sizes in double extracted alcohol or organic vegetable glycerin. I’m happy to see these special mushrooms in bloom this month.
Pheasant Back or Dryad Saddle mushrooms pictured above are a tasty find. Usually growing on dead stumps or logs. They have an almost cucumber flavor and are best consumed young, like the first picture, they get tougher as they grow. They are especially good in eggs. Here’s a great recipe idea: https://foragerchef.com/the-cucumber-mushroom-dryads-saddlepheasant-back/
Fawn or Broad Gill mushrooms are another edible, but to be taken with caution. They aren’t the tastiest treat, some liken them to dirty socks. All the same they are out and about and I personally like them.
I hope as part of boosting your immune systems you all are getting out and soaking in the spring sun. It’s just lovely this time of year in our region with all the blooms and green trees and plants! I look forward to new days ahead and see clearer skies coming. Stay tuned for more information on my walks and markets. Stay safe, healthy and happy!