Fall has always been one of my favorite times of the year, ever since I was little I can remember loving going out in a world splashed with vivid colors. Fall makes for some great, yet challenging mushroom hunting. Summer spoils us with a wonderful abundance of many different kinds of mushrooms, fall on the other hand gives us a few great ones but they are harder to find. I’ll give out some helpful tips on how to find what’s out there now later in the newsletter.
East Asheville Tailgate– Fridays 3-6 @ 954 tunnel rd I’ll be there 10/14 and 10/21
Yancey County Farmers Market– Saturdays 8:30-12:30 Downtown Burnsville I’ll be there 10/8 and 10/15
Axe and Awl-Art after dark– Friday 10/7 from 6-9 @ 41 depot st, Waynesville
Monthly Special: In honor of the appearance of the Hens, this month both 1 oz and 2 oz Maitake tinctures will be $10 off. Maitake-Hen of the woods-dancing mushroom is not only a super delightful edible wild mushroom, it’s also very medicinal! Maitake has been in studies and showed promise against and recovering from covid. It boosts immune support, lowers risk of heart disease and lowers cholesterol, attacks cancerous tumors, helps manage diabetes, and is high in vitamin D, which can help increase energy.
This month will see some amazing mushrooms popping out. Honey mushrooms are some you can find in force. There are ringed and ringless Honey mushrooms, the veil is the distinguishing factor between them. They grow in large clusters, usually at the base of dying trees. Honey stems strip apart like string cheese and are white inside. Maitake, aka hen of the wood, aka, the dancing mushroom, is truly one of the best culinary mushrooms in taste and also holds much medicinal benefit. Hens are usually always found at the base of large oak trees and are masters at blending in. Lions Mane and Bears Head Tooth/Comb Tooth can be found growing on dying beech or oak trees, sometimes birch. This family of mushrooms has shown great benefits for the brain, as well as numerous other benefits. Also are really good tasting, comparable to seafood. Chicken of the wood will last into this month, as well as beefsteak, puffballs, blewits and shrimp of the wood. Shrimps have a special relationship with Honey mushrooms, very similar to Lobster mushrooms where they take over the honeys and evolve into the puffy shrimps, edible and delicious! The variety of Reishi, Ganoderma Curtisii, which are known for their long stems and purplish blue color, can also be found this month and are equally medicinal to other Reishi species. Here’s some links for cooking these varieties:
Lastly I wanna give a spotlight to one of my students, her name is Lindsey Spratt and she is a top notch photographer! Lindsey has joined several of my mushroom tours and specializes in mushroom and nature photography. Her work can found on her facebook page: Breathing Gaia Photography.
Hope you get out on the parkway or other mountain roads and enjoy the fall foliage which should be popping in the higher elevations now and soon taking over everywhere!