About 7 years ago I began to get curious and explore the world of mushrooms. Im 39 years old, love outdoor adventure of all kinds, i do art, i write and i plan to travel this wild world studying, living within, and experiencing life! More over i set up this page to share my knowledge of the mushroom kingdom, to open a gateway into the Appalachian mountains that are full of many, many mushrooms. I forage mushrooms of all shapes, sizes, colors, tastes, and uses, as a second income, perhaps you may witness a business being born!
November some say is the end of the mushroom season for the year. Though this is not completely true, there are a few winter mushrooms that grow into the cold months and the first few weeks of this month still offer a chance to pick the last of the hens, lions mane and bears head or turkey tail and oysters. Every year is different and if conditions are right, the season grows long, lets hope for that!
Markets:East Asheville Tailgate—- 11/10 and 11/17 Fridays 3-6 at 954 tunnel rd
Burnsville/Yancey county market—11/11 Saturday 9-12:30 downtown Burnsville
Weaverville winter market—11/1, 11/8, 11/15 and 11/22 Wednesdays 3-6 inside weaverville community center.
Ferment Fest—11/5 from 11-5 at 258 carolina lane in Marshall, NC Madison county fairgrounds
Monthly Special: Maitake tinctures will be $10 off all month long. 1oz will be $15 and 2oz will be $25. Maitake/Hen of the wood/sheeps head mushroom is a highly prized culinary mushroom but also a highly medicinal one! It has cancer fighting properties, helps fight high cholesterol levels and type 2 diabetes, boosts the immune system, fights off the flu and could be highly beneficial against and recovery of covid.
What’s left this month? Top to bottom: Lions Mane, Turkey Tail, Bears Head, Chaga, Maitake, and oysters. Of coarse there’s always a chance of seeing other shrooms out there. These all are wonderful medicinal and edible mushrooms. The hunt however is a bit trickier during this time of year, with the changing leaves covering the ground and the mushrooms blending in perfectly to the landscape. Into the cold we go…..
18.5lbs found by my friend Steve, I was there to help him lift it!
Saying good bye to summer can be hard, but the fall set of mushrooms make the transition a bit easier! Three of my favorite wild edible mushrooms are out and about, shrimp of the woods (pictured above), lions mane and hen of the wood. It’s also the prettiest season with the changing colors, falling leaves and perfect weather. My tours have ended for the season but I encourage folks to follow my adventures on social media and be out looking for yourself for what’s in the forest this month. We are also moving into the end of regular season tailgate market season and into holiday and winter markets. Come out and support all of us small businesses and get some amazing local goodness while you can!
Markets:East Asheville Tailgate: Fridays 3-6, I’ll be there every week except 10/20
Burnsville/Yancey county: Saturdays 8:30-12:30, I’ll be there every week except 10/21
New Product/Monthly Special: Introducing the Cauliflower/Sparassis tincture! You may know you can eat the cauliflower mushroom but you can also use it in a medicinal way. The Sparassis has a host of benefits including: Antioxidant, Antifungal and Anticancer/tumor properties. Also helps with weight loss and may help prevent strokes. All month the new tincture will be $10 off, available in 2oz size only.
Some of what you’ll see this month in the forest. From top to bottom–Lions Mane, Bears head tooth, Beefsteak, Cauliflower, Chicken of the wood, Oysters, Shrimp of the wood, Golden Reishi, Puffball, Maitake/Hens, and Honey mushrooms. All of these are edible except the golden Reishi which is medicinal. The clock is ticking on the mushroom year, so get out there and check out what’s left of the abundance! Happy harvest, happy fall y’all.
Say hello to the fall and farewell to the summer. Best time to be out in the mountains in my opinion, with cooler temps and changing colors and a great selection of mushrooms coming in. Some exciting things are going down this month, a couple mushroom festivals, a workshop, tailgate markets and the last month of tours. Also a new Chanterelle beer coming soon by Whaley Brewery!!
Markets:East Asheville–Fridays 3-6pm at 954 tunnel road in Asheville–9/1, 9/8, 9/15 and 9/29
Burnsville/Yancey County— Saturdays 8:30-12:30 downtown Burnsville–9/9, 9/16 and 9/30
4M mushrooms ,makers, and music festival–Saturday 9/2 from 10-6 downtown Sylva
Local event: If your local to western North Carolina you might want to check out this event in Barnardsville! I’ll be going but not teaching, just attending. William is an amazing teacher and a wealth of knowledge and this will be a great chance to connect with other fungi lovers here in the mountains we call home.
Something new is brewing at Whaley Brewery in Old Fort, NC! The chanterelle season was booming this year and my good friend, Steve, and myself collected over 20lbs, delivered to Chris at Whaley Brewery who is going to create a chanterelle golden ale! This should be amazing. Whaley also makes a chaga lager with chaga I harvested. Check then out: https://www.whaleyfarmbrewery.com/
With over 4,000 different types of mushrooms in our region, there is much to learn about the wonderful and complex world of wild mushrooms. In this workshop we will explore the woodland areas of the property and have a forage for what edible + medicinal mushrooms are popping. Throughout the class, we will cover mushroom families, identification features, and foraging tips. We’ll talk not just about what we find, but also some other local favorites and easy beginner mushrooms to ID.
Based on what we find, we will share in a cooking demo and light meal together. Kevin will also bring examples of medicinal mushrooms like reishi, turkey tail, and chaga and we will discuss their benefits and applications in their life.
Event Details Date/Time: September 30th, 2-5p
Location: Private woodland retreat center on the South Toe River in Celo off of Lower Browns Creek. Directions will be provided upon registration.
Cost: $50-70 sliding scale
Monthly Special: This months special is on Cordyceps tinctures, $10 off. Cordyceps has been used for centuries in Asian cultures and are catching on here in the west. With benefits that include energizing effects, many endurance athletes use them, cognitive function, anti-tumor effects, anti-ageing, heart health, managing type 2 diabetes, and anti-inflammation.
Here’s some of the mushrooms that will highlight the fall season. Some summer mushrooms will also extend into the fall such as boletes, milk caps and cauliflower. From the top across—lions mane can be found on dying oaks and beech trees, beefsteaks love oaks, turkey tail grows on downed wood, branches and logs, chicken of the wood grows on mostly oaks, honey mushrooms are ground dwellers also associated with oaks, the shrimp of the wood are parasitic and take over honeys, puff balls grow all over on wood or the ground, cauliflowers like piney environments, leatherback milkies also like pines, and the wonderful maitake or hen of the wood will be at the base of oaks. It’s a great time to be in the forest foraging and camping and wandering around in the world of trees as they change from green to red to yellow and orange. Happy hunting y’all……
The summer is in full blast in the forest and this month is one of the most exciting! Pictured above is one of my absolute favorites to find, the blue indigo milk cap. This little beauty is edible and one of the most vibrant mushrooms you’ll see. Tours will continue on through fall, if interested I suggest contacting me via text or email. I’ve moved to announcing walks the week of, posting on instagram and facebook, if you don’t have or use either of those, reaching out to me works to!
Note:I will be traveling from 7/28-8/7 all orders in this period will be delayed until I return
I will be traveling up to PA for the second year in a row for mycofest, a wonderfully fun and educational mushroom festival. On the way I plan to forage in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Orders will be delayed during this week. I can’t wait to reconnect with friends there and make some new ones as the network grows on!
East Asheville Tailgate: Fridays 3-6 @ 954 tunnel rd I’ll be there 8/11, 8/18 and 8/25
Burnsville/Yancey County: Saturdays 8:30-12:30 downtown Burnsville I’ll be there 8/19 and 8/26
Monthly Special: For August the special will be $5 off teabags and $10 off tinctures of Turkey Tail. Turkey Tail really gets growing this month in force. It’s perhaps the most researched medicinal mushroom and with it’s many health benefits, it should be! It may be most recognized for it’s cancer fighting properties but also aids in digestion, boosts the immune system, improved cognitive function, fights diabetes and reduces inflammation. Turkey Tail is also a great mushroom to help fight canine cancers.
Here’s some highlights you’ll see this month. From top across–Beefsteak (raw edible), crown tipped coral, amanita (deadly), painted bolete, golden milky, bicolor bolete, cauliflower, smooth chanterelle, blue indigo milky, cinnabar chaneterlle, lobsters, chickens, shaggy stalked bolete and black trumpets. If you live in such a diverse area as I do you’ll see lots more varieties out there right now! As a forager this is the time to be in woods everyday, I guarantee you won’t leave with an empty basket!
July…the first full month of summer. This is the best time of year here in the blue ridge mountains. The forage is on! For the next months, straight into winter, I’ll be in the woods almost everyday and if your looking for mushrooms, you might do the same.
Markets:East Asheville-Fridays 3-6 at 954 Tunnel rd…..I’ll be there 7/7, 7/14 and 7/21
Burnsville/Yancey County: Saturdays 8:30-12:30 downtown Burnsville…7/1, 7/15 and 7/22
Black Mountain: Saturdays 9-12 at 130 Montreat rd…..7/8 only
Weaverville: Wednesdays 3-6 at Weaverville community center…..7/5 and 7/19
Monthly Special: This month will be $10 off Indian Pipe tinctures. Indian pipe/ghost pipe is a special wild flower that has a relationship with mushrooms, in that they gain their nutrients fungi. Foraging for these little beauties is to be done carefully, only taking a few from each cluster you come across. The medicine they produce is considered potent and it’s best to start small and not take large amounts at once. Indian pipe benefits include: pain relief, helps sleep and is a sedative, improves migraine headaches, has a calming effect.
Back again is Chaga Magic shea butter!! Chaga is not only great for us internally but externally as well, on our skin. Chaga provides antioxidant properties, UV protection, helps improve skin conditions such as eczema, protects our DNA and adds melanin/pigment to our skin. This blend contains chaga, vitamin E, wild grape seed oil, extracts of fennel, pine, star anise and rosemary. Find in my shop, $20.
Mushroom walks are back and this month is prime time. Many mushrooms will be out and ready for the finding. Walks are $50/person, kids are half price. Walks are arranged by way of email or text, text seems easier and faster. I also post on social media when they might happen. I do not have a set schedule, so most are arranged a few days prior, if your visiting or have certain days/times you can only do, that can arranged as well. Of coarse weather is a factor, if it’s bad weather walks may be cancelled, if it’s been super dry then we wait for the rain. I typically like to arrange no more than 6-7 people at a time. I also do home visits, to walk your property those cost $60/hour.
July is prime time out in the forest, with loads of mushrooms popping out this month! Pictured above is just a taste of what we’ll see, from top to bottom: old man of the woods, lobsters, beef steak (can be eaten raw), amanita (poison), shrimp russula, chicken and cauliflower, leatherback milky, shaggy stalked bolete, black trumpets and chanterelles. I love the range of colors in the summer mushrooms, the different tastes, textures and shapes of each. Being in such a diverse environment here in Appalachia is truly a blessing, however many of these species grow all along the east coast and some on the west coast. I highly advise learning mushroom identification in person, seek out teachers and clubs locally, there’s no better way than hands on! Happy summer y’all and happy foraging….
June is upon us and I can’t help but feel this year is moving along quite quickly. I think that’s because the mushrooms are arriving earlier than last year. Reishi is much earlier than last season and seems to be much more abundant as well. I’ve also noticed several other mushrooms that are popping out that are usually summer varieties! All signs point to an exceptional year this year! Later this month I will get mushroom tours under way, I’ve already had lots of interest and will start arranging some walks very soon, feel free to email me and we can get some dates in the books.
It’s back! The rerelease of chaga lager is happening Thursday, June 22nd from 3-6 at Whaley farm brewery-178 Catawba Ave in Old Fort. Myself, along with some great vendors will be celebrating the event. Come by and say hi and try a true wild crafted brew!
I’m excited to link up with Adventure Hounds AVL: https://www.adventurehoundsavl.com/ Mushrooms like Turkey Tail are not only great for us but also for our pets. Keep an eye out for some new treats made with love and Turkey Tail foraged from yours truly. You can find her products online or follow Adventure hounds on instagram to find out what markets she is doing weekly!
Monthly Special: This month Mullein will be $10 off tinctures. Mullein is a large, fuzzy plant that often grows on hillsides in abundance. A large flower stalk shoots out from the middle, full of yellow flowers. Mullein is a plant that is great for our respiratory system, it helps sooth the lungs and slow coughs, it helps fight viral infections, is antibacterial, may help aid tuberculosis treatment, improve digestion and help headaches.
With things popping out early, this month should be a great one on the mushroom hunt. Chicken of the wood has already been out and growing abundantly. Chanterlles should start this month and I expect it’ll be another stellar year for these beauties. Pheasant back mushrooms have also shown up in force, the design on the caps is one of my favorites, they smell like cucumbers and taste great when young, these are also a polypore. The berkleys polypore are edible when young as pictured and get tough as they fan out. The painted boletes are a good edible, they are very distinct in their red and yellow coloring and also have no gills but pores on the underside. Lastly indian pipe is on the scene early as well. These little beauties feed off mushrooms and their petals are completely translucent. Taking only a few from big clusters is the best way to sustainably harvest these medicinal wild flowers. These are just a few of what you should expect to see this month! As my tours begin, I’m excited to see what else we can find in the forest in June.
April showers bring May flowers! Here is a mayapple plant blooming out, you’ll see lots of these, along with bloodroot, trout lily, iris, periwinkle, violet, chickweed and so many other flowers gracing the forest floor. With the morels moving on, it’s small window of rest and reset before the big mushroom season kicks off. It’s a great time as a forger to focus on some plants and simply admiring the season here in the mountains.
Markets: Black Mountain- 9-12, Saturdays I’ll be there 5/6 and 5/27
Yancey County/Burnsville: Saturdays 8:30-12:30 I’ll be there 5/13 and 5/20
East Asheville: Fridays 3-6, I’ll be there all month.
Weaverville: Wednesdays 3-6, I’ll be there 5/3, 5/17, 5/24 and 5/31
New Product: Ramp Sea Salt. Made with wild (sustainably) foraged Ramps and natural sea salt. Ramps have a strong garlic like smell and flavor and go good on everything! $7 a pack.
Monthly Special:$5 off Turkey Tail teabagsand half pounds. Turkey Tail is perhaps the most researched mushroom in the US. It’s known for it’s cancer fighting properties, helping improve gut health, immune system boost, fighting fatigue and anti-inflammatory benefits. Set of four teabags, each one makes a quart of tea and can be used twice.
Highlight on the pheasant back mushroom. Usually when you see these mushrooms, it’s a good indictor that morels have moved on. These pretty mushrooms smell just like cucumbers or watermelon rinds and taste great when young and fresh, trying to eat the older, fanned out ones is tough and bitter. Also little Reishi babies are popping out early this year. It’ll take a few weeks for them to grow and maybe a few more before they mature. You can slice off the outer edges and sauté them, just don’t forage the whole mushroom at this stage, it still has to release it’s spores and gain all that great medicinal goodness!
The elusive morels are moving north, which means finding them here in the mountains of WNC. I’ve been doing some full day forages down in South Carolina but this month I’ll be hunting the forest backyard of the Blue Ridge. Typically I find the black morels in our area, they are distinct with their black ridge lines on the cap, like the one pictured above. This year has been amazing one for the morels, so get out and see if you can’t spot some! Besides hunting morels, this month is the official start of market season. I really enjoy being at the various markets in the area, meeting people face to face, connecting to different communities and spreading the mushroom love. Here’s this months markets:
Monthly Special:$5 off Lions Mane Teabags. Lions Mane is a highly medicinal mushroom that helps improve cognitive function, fights dementia and alzheimer’s, mood, heart health, inflammation and nerve damage.
April is all about morels, gettem while you can! Mountain hunting for morels is different than the low lands. Out here hillsides and slopes replace drainage and bottom lands. Also poplar trees seem to produce more than ash trees. It’s all about figuring out the patterns and puzzles of these lovelys. I’ve still found oysters out, witches butter and other jelly mushrooms as well. New on the scene last month and continuing this month are pheasant back mushrooms, they have beautiful patterns on their caps and they have a strong scent of cucumber. They are best edible when small. Lastly are the ramps. Out here lots of folks know and love the ramps. These strong garlic-like greens are delicious in almost any meal. Like the morels they have a short window of growth, lasting a few weeks only. Being careful not to over harvest and also use sustainable methods is important for their survival. I’m excited to get some back in my wild mushroom salts! It’s been yet another great year for the morels so far, let’s keep it going!!
To me it’s hardly felt like winter this year, as far as the weather goes. Winter can be seen as a length of time, for many mushroom hunters it’s that space between the last lions mane and winter oysters, to when the magic morels begin to grow, and here we are! This month will be the official start to the spring season and with the temperatures being so lovely, the morels should be in full form and abundant. Typically I don’t sell many morels, I usually eat them, give some away or dehydrate them, however this year I plan to forage much more than last year, so if you visit the farmer markets I’ll probably have some for sale. This is the start to the mushroom season and we should see them popping out everywhere real soon.
Weaverville Tailgate Market: Wedensdays 3-6 @ Weaverville community center I’ll be there 3/8, 3/22, 3/29
Taste of Local: 3/24 from 11-1 at Warren Wilson College.
New Product/Monthly Special: I’m pretty excited for this new blend! Wither your trying to keep your mind sharp, need more focus for studying, or trying to prevent Dementia and Alzheimer’s, I’ve combined Lions Mane, Cordyceps and Maitake mushrooms together to create a master brain booster. All three are known to improve cognitive function, mood, focus, help to prevent cognitive decline, create new brain cells, provide energy and boost the immune system. More and more research with mushrooms is coming out and the results are all promising. All month long this new tincture blend will be $25 for a 1oz and $35 for a 2oz. The regular price will be $30 for a 1oz and $40 for a 2oz, starting in April.
Getting out in spring is always exciting, I love the smells, the flowers popping, the lush greenery starting and the great morel hunt! The last few years I’ve added quite a few new areas, thanks to a good, good friend who has the radar dialed in. The season usually starts with the little ones, and for some areas that’s all it may produce. In other areas you may find big and small and in between in the same location. There are four types of morels here in WNC. Blondes or yellow morels, grays, blacks and half free morels. There is a false morel but I haven’t seen them here in our region, just up north. Each is distinct in look, coloring but they all taste the same to me. The false morels are toxic, they are pictured last and you can see they look very different. True morels are hollow, as pictured above, false are not. Morels are often associated with trees, poplar, elm, apple, are three big ones, as well as environment. A big factor to as when morels begin is the soil temperature, calling for at least five consecutive days of a soil temp 55 degrees or above, there’s some great soil temp websites you can find online. There’s also the great morel website, where you can see where people have found them and when: https://www.thegreatmorel.com/morel-sightings/ Though morels are all the rage, there are other mushrooms out at this time. Your likely to see some jelly mushrooms, wood ear, witches butter, amber jelly roll, all which are edible. Also early pheasant back mushrooms that taste great when young but get bitter with age, they are have a very distinct cap pattern and smell like cucumbers, some say if you see these that’s the end of the morel season but I disagree and have found them at the same times. The coral mushrooms will also start showing up, some are edible and some are not, always stay away from yellow corals, the only ones I eat are the white, crown tipped corals. Turkey Tails are pretty much a year round polypore that are super medicinal but not edible, making a tea or tincture is the way to use these beauties. If we are lucky, chicken of the wood could start towards the end of the month as well. It’s bright orange color gives it away, with two varieties, one being yellow on the pore side and the other white underneath. Happy morel hunting y’all and happy spring!!
Into the year we go……February is a true winter month in the mountains and it’s also my birth-day month! I’ll be traveling down south for the first week, to walk the empty beach, camp, kayak and celebrate 45 years on earth. Orders will be delayed until I return on the 6th. I plan to get in some chaga hunting, forage more turkey tail and scout some potential morel areas upon return. These months before spring are a great time to get to know your trees. Identifying poplar, elm and apple trees is one of the keys to finding morels in the coming months. There’s still many mushrooms popping out in the cold conditions, even though you may not be eating them all, just out discovering these varieties can be fun!
New collaborations: This year is off to a great start with two new collaborations under way. Vending at tailgate markets has introduced me to many amazing makers and with each one I meet, I wonder, can mushrooms go with that! Botanical Bones is a local, super natural dog treat company here in Asheville. Their treats are all plant based and made with love. I’m excited to provide local chaga for their ‘inner glow’ treats.
Also there’s a new kombucha maker on the scene locally, Terra Farmstead Kombucha. Not only do they make some wonderful kombucha but they run an amazing farm not far from where I live. They’ll be using my reishi, chaga and turkey tail in some very interesting batches of kombucha that will include pine, juniper, and lemon, also cardamom, purple sweet potato, mace and orange in another, yum! You can find them on instagram.
Markets: Weaverville winter market: Wedensdays 3-6 @weaverville community center 60 lakeshore drive…I’ll be there 2/8 and 2/22
Monthly Special:$10 off all Indian Pipe tinctures. Monotropa uniflora, aka Indian Pipe is a wild flower that needs mushrooms for nourishment. These little beauties’ feed off the underground mycelia network. They lack chlorophyll and their petals are completely translucent. Quite an amazing little flower and they make powerful medicine. Indian Pipe/Ghost Pipe is a sedative, helping with sleep issues, mild pain issues, it helps improve migraine headaches, helps treat seizures, chronic muscle spasms and can have a very calming effect. Some people will use indian pipe when having a bad trip, to bring them back down. Also it’s said indian pipe can help with emotional pain, ptsd and mental health issues.
With pickins pretty slim this time a year, it’s hard to go find a bounty out in the woods. However there are some things to keep an eye out for on the trail. (pictures in order as descriptions following) The jelly mushrooms seem to pop up all around the year wood ear and amber jelly roll are two of the best, both edible and look very similar. Black cup fungus and witches butter are two more edible jelly mushrooms, both are distinct in look and color. The witches butter is a bright yellow, can be eaten raw but is rather tasteless. Wild enoki or velvet foot mushrooms are winter lovers and grow in clusters, usually on elm trees, which is a great way to find possible morel spots in spring. These are tricky as the deadly galerina looks very similar. They do have a velvety base to the stem which is a big difference, hence the name. Chaga of coarse grows all year and is one of the best all around medicinals. I found a late lions mane in our region about a week ago and with temps being slightly warmer it’s not rare to see them this time of year. There’s many kinds of conk mushrooms out there all year around, the artist conk is a medicinal one that can take on different looks. Birch polypore is pretty distinct in look, starting white and taking on a goldish, tan color with age, they have an almost toothed look on the bottom as they grow. Turkey tail grows well in winter and shows up in a range of colors. Be sure they have a white bottom and are paper thin. These are little medicinal powerhouses and can be found anywhere on downed wood, branches, trunks or logs. Lastly winter oysters are a real delight to come across, they can get quite big and have more of a goldish white color. They are some of my favorite tasting of the oysters. Until next month, happy winter hunting y’all.