Summer time! So it begins, the best couple months of mushroom hunting ahead. A wide variety of different mushrooms have begun to emerge, bringing a colorful landscape to the forest floor. One of my favorites is the Chanterelle. The color, aroma, texture and taste of these little gems makes them one of the more sought after edible wild mushrooms. There are five types that grow in our region and I’ll talk about those at the end of the newsletter. I absolutely love the Forager Chef and this is a great blog on cooking Chanterelles: https://foragerchef.com/chanterelle-mushrooms/
Markets this month:
East Asheville Tailgate: Every Friday 3-6 at 954 Tunnel rd. I will be there every week except 7/15.
Enka/Candler Tailgate: Thursdays 3-6 at 1465 sand hill rd, Candler. I’ll be there 7/7 and 7/21
Mars Hill Tailgate: Saturday 10-1 on College st. I will be there 7/16 only.
Yancey County Tailgate: Saturdays 8:30-12:30 in downtown Burnsville. I will be there 7/2, 7/9, 7/23 and 7/30
Highland Brewing Meadow Market: Sunday 12-5 at Highland Brewing. I will be there 7/10
**Market dates are subject to change sometimes, I keep my social media updated week by week.
Monthly Special: This months special is on Chaga half and full pounds. $10 off both, half pounds will be $25 and full pounds $40. This is a great chance to bulk up on your Chaga stock. Chaga is used to make tea and can be a base for broths and stocks. Chaga benefits include- Anti-inflammatory, immune system regulator, anti-oxidant, digestive aid, cancer fighter, contains many vitamins and minerals, and skin health.
Indian Pipe tinctures are back in stock!
Above is a portion of what you might see growing this month. All these pictured are edible and delicious. As I begin leading walks, these are just some of what we will see out there. Boletes and Milkies are two families that contain many varieties, boletes have pores on the underside of the caps instead of gills and milkies lactate from the gills, there are a few toxic varieties in each family! The five types of Chanterelles are-smooth, fragrant, cinnabar, peach, flame colored and the black trumpet is also a chanterelle. Each of these is pretty different in look. When hunting Chanterelles the look alike most associated to them are called Jack O Lanterns, the color can be similar but jacks have gills, grow in clusters and get quite large, and their gills glow green in the dark! Chanterelle caps always seem to have a wavy pattern, almost like a flower, they also have an attached gill pattern that is quite different from the gills of Jacks, sometimes with no gills present at all.
Coming soon is a new product! I’ve collaborated with a local soap maker that is crafting a Chaga soap. This will be a welcome addition to using Chaga in a skin care product. Chaga has shown to be wonderful for keeping skin healthy, keeping wrinkles at bay, adding pigment to your skin, protection against UV rays and helping certain skin conditions. More details coming soon.
The plant of the month to know is called Jewelweed. The small flowers can be yellow or orange, the stems hollow and juicy with a reddish base and the leaves lobed. This plant is amazing for many reasons, but most importantly for helping relieve poison ivy rashes. Any time I’ve a brush with the ivy I seek out Jewelweed. Simply crushing up the whole plant and rubbing on it the infected area makes a huge difference! There are soaps, salves and rub on sticks made with this plant for that purpose.
I wish everyone happy hunting out there, keep hoping for some more rain to get those mushrooms popping!