12 Mushrooms That Grow In Your Yard

Before I share a brand new video with you, I want to provide a reminder that today — Tuesday, September 28th—  is the last day to register for Foraging Wild Mushrooms

After today, registration will be closed for the season.  If you want to learn the skills involved in safely and successfully harvesting wild mushrooms with confidence, Foraging Wild Mushrooms can help you achieve that goal. 

Click here to learn more.

And now on to this week’s brand new video…

The best mushroom books aren’t always mushroom-related.

Take the Tao Te Ching, for instance.  This piece of Chinese philosophical literature was written approximately 2,500 years ago.  The word “mushroom” is not mentioned anywhere in the text, but the Tao Te Ching might be one of the best mushroom books I have ever read. 

To see what I mean, let’s look at a few words from verse 47.

“The world may be known without leaving the house…
The further you go, the less you know.”

How does this apply to mushrooms? 

Replace world with mushrooms, and we soon realize that we do not have to travel too far to understand the fungal kingdom.

Tropical jungles, alpine bogs, and distant countries might seem like they have what a mushroom hunter needs.  But that’s almost never entirely true.  If we haven’t learned as much as a human is capable of learning at home, then we have work to do… at home.

In other words, if we have not learned the mushrooms that grow in our yards, then it might be a good idea to focus on those particular mushrooms before leaving the house (to use the Taoists’ words).

To inspire you to do this kind of work, I filmed a video that focuses only on yard-dwelling mushrooms.  Some of the mushrooms grow in the grass.  Others grow in your flower beds.  All of the mushrooms can be found at home.  

You can watch the brand new video here.

Thanks for reading and watching, and thanks for your continued support!

-Adam Haritan

Be On The Lookout For This Elusive Edible Mushroom (It Looks Like A Spaceship)

Over the next few weeks, a strange wild mushroom will appear from the trunks of oaks and other deciduous trees. 

At first glance, this fungus resembles a scarlet-colored spaceship.  Upon closer inspection, and especially upon internal inspection, this mushroom literally looks like raw meat.  Its taste — a bit sour, a bit mushroomy — is reminiscent of a tangy portobello mushroom.

The Beefsteak Polypore is a mushroom unlike any other.  In some parts of Europe, this species is considered to be rare.  Here in North America, summer and autumn sightings of the Beefsteak Polypore aren’t infrequent, though they’re not incredibly common either. 

Needless to say, the Beefsteak Polypore is one mushroom worth adding to your must-see list of 2021.

To learn more about this fascinating fungus, you can view the following video for the next few days.

This video is one of over 80 exclusive videos featured in Foraging Wild Mushrooms — a four-season online course designed to help you confidently and successfully forage wild mushrooms.

Registration for Foraging Wild Mushrooms is open until Tuesday, September 28th.  After that, registration will be closed.

To get a sneak peek into the kinds of content found within the course, please enjoy this video.

Please note that the video will only be publicly available until September 28th, after which it will only be available to students.

-Adam Haritan

Foraging Wild Mushrooms — Online Course Is Now Open For Enrollment

Greetings,

There’s no shortage of reasons to explore the woods these days, though if you feel like you need some inspiration, consider at least two motivating factors that mushrooms offer:

  1. Nutritious wild food
  2. Nature connection

In anticipation and celebration of the autumn mushroom season, I’m excited to announce that Foraging Wild Mushrooms is currently open for enrollment.

This 4-season online course is designed to help you safely, successfully, and confidently forage wild mushrooms from the forest, from the field, and even from your own backyard.

Whether you’re interested in foraging for food, for medicine, for study, or just for fun, Foraging Wild Mushrooms covers the most important lessons to get you started.

In addition to over 80 step-by-step exclusive and instructional videos included within the course, you’ll also receive:

  • Supplemental handouts covering mushroom anatomy, terminology, and biology that you can download and print for easy viewing.
  • A 42-page guide to medicinal mushrooms that summarizes the latest research on the most popular medicinal fungi with over 75 peer-reviewed references.
  • Immediate and lifetime access to all materials.

Please note that enrollment for Foraging Wild Mushrooms is open for one week only — from today until Tuesday, September 28th.  After that, enrollment will be closed for the season.

As is the case with all enrollment periods, a portion of all proceeds derived from course sales will be used for land conservation. 

To learn more about the course, check out this video which gives an overview of what you can expect.

Thank you, as always, for your continued support!
—Adam Haritan

Beware Of Fraudulent Mushroom Products (Many Of Them Are Mislabeled)

A common sentiment among non-foragers is that harvesting wild mushrooms for consumption is dangerous.

“I’ll stick to the mushrooms sold in grocery stores,” the non-foragers say. “They’re much safer.”

Turns out, that’s not always the case.  Commercially sold mushroom products are often mislabeled.  In some instances, the mislabeled products sicken consumers.

A brand new study exposed the widespread inaccuracies associated with commercially sold mushroom products.  Here are 3 major findings from the study:

  1. Many commercially sold “wild” mushrooms are actually cultivated mushrooms.
  2. Of the mushrooms that are actually wild, many of them are not the same species that are listed on the labels.
  3. Some products contain species whose edibility is at best dubious, and at worst potentially toxic.

To shed additional light on the topic of fraudulent mushroom products, I filmed a brief video in which I dig a bit deeper into the study’s discoveries.

You can watch the brand new video here.

You’ll never see this fungus sold in products intended for consumption (unless the product is mislabeled, of course), but you will find it growing in coniferous forests this time of year.  Have you seen anything like it?  To learn more about this club-shaped species, check out the latest Instagram post!Click to view post

Thanks for reading and watching, and thanks for your continued support!

-Adam Haritan

These Male Trees Turn Female Even If It Kills Them

What goes on in a forest might be none of our business.  Curious minds, however, always want to know.

In the lower canopy layers of Appalachian forests, a particular tree known as striped maple (Acer pensylvanicum) does something that very few trees do.

It changes sex.

Males become females.  Females become males.

In academic circles, this phenomenon is known as sequential hermaphroditism.  Some plants do it when stakes are high.  In the case of striped maple, males become females even if it kills them.

Why does this happen, and what else is known about sex changes in plants?  In a brand new video, I introduce some important questions and wonder about them aloud.

If you’re interested in learning more, check out the brand new video!

This animal does not change sex but it does change the way people maneuver through the woods.  I recently spotted a few timber rattlesnakes in a Pennsylvania forest.  To see photographs and to read more about my encounters, check out the latest Instagram post!Click to view post

Thanks for reading and watching, and thanks for your continued support!

-Adam Haritan

Poison Hemlock — The Plant We Love To Hate

Poison hemlock gets an incredibly bad rap these days. 

It’s weedy.  It’s aggressive.  And it’s lethally toxic.

Here in the United States, poison hemlock grows in almost every single state.  Because many of us will inevitably encounter a naturalized population of poison hemlock, it’s important that we learn its key features and its effects on the human body.

The trend these days is to write scathing articles about poison hemlock where personal feelings eclipse objective information.  Today, however, I’ll offer something different.

In a new video, I don’t get too angry talking about poison hemlock, but I instead try to remain fairly neutral when discussing its attributes. 

If you’re interested in learning more about one of the most toxic plants in the world, check out the brand new video!

Last year, I stumbled upon a pileated woodpecker nest for the first time.  Exactly one year later, I encountered a second site in a different location.  To read about my recent experience, and to view more photographs of the nest, check out the latest Instagram post!Click to view post

Thanks for reading and watching, and thanks for your continued support!

-Adam Haritan

Never Be Fooled By Poison Ivy Again

Before I share a brand new video with you, I want to provide a reminder that today — Monday, May 24th—  is the last day to register for Foraging Wild Mushrooms

After today, registration will be closed for the season.  If you want to learn the skills involved in safely and successfully harvesting wild mushrooms with confidence, Foraging Wild Mushrooms can help you achieve that goal. 

Click here to register before midnight.

And now on to this week’s brand new video.

There is no shortage of phrases that we can use to assist with the identification of poison ivy.

Most are lyrical and memorable, but few ever describe the less familiar parts of poison ivy (e.g., winter buds, twigs, flowers, autumn foliage).

Even then, the phrases that do describe the most familiar parts aren’t entirely foolproof:

“Leaflets of three, let it be.” (Many other plants have compound leaves with three leaflets, and I’ve seen poison ivy leaves with only two leaflets.)

“Side leaflets like mittens, will itch like the dickens.” (Side leaflets will oftentimes have no teeth or lobes.)

Needless to say, catchy phrases aren’t always accurate, and field guides that offer one photograph per plant only add to the confusion.

To address the situation, I created a very detailed video that covers key identifying features of poison ivy in every season.

If you’re looking to improve your poison ivy identification skills while reducing the chances of physically contacting the plant, check out the brand new video!

Thanks for reading and watching, and thanks for your continued support!

-Adam Haritan

Heavy Metal Contamination Of Wild Mushrooms — 6 Things To Know

Harvesting edible mushrooms is rewarding. 

Harvesting edible mushrooms that are contaminated with impurities is disappointing and potentially dangerous.

One of the most common questions I receive from concerned foragers is this: 

“I hear that mushrooms bioaccumulate all kinds of substances.  How do I know that the edible mushrooms I’ve harvested are safe for consumption?”

This is an issue that requires a lot of attention.  Fungi, like many living organisms, can harbor all kinds of contaminants, including synthetic chemicals (e.g., pesticides and herbicides), radionuclides, and heavy metals. 

While many factors remain outside the personal control of foragers, several actions can be taken to mitigate harm caused by these contaminants.

To shed light on heavy metal contamination, I created a video in which I answer 6 important questions.  Information in the video includes:

  • The most problematic heavy metals.
  • Habitats that are known to be contaminated.
  • Edible mushrooms that hyper-accumulate heavy metals.
  • Specific parts of mushrooms that are most likely to concentrate heavy metals.
  • Cooking techniques we can implement in the kitchen to reduce contamination.

…and lots more.

The following video is one of over 80 exclusive videos featured in Foraging Wild Mushrooms — a four-season online course designed to help you confidently and successfully forage wild mushrooms.  

Registration for Foraging Wild Mushrooms is open until Monday, May 24th at midnight.  After May 24th, registration will be closed. 

If you’ve ever considered harvesting wild mushrooms but didn’t know where to start, or where to go, or how to discern between edible and poisonous species, Foraging Wild Mushrooms will equip you with the skills necessary to ensure that your harvests are safe and successful. 

To get a sneak peek into the kinds of content found within the course, check out this video.

Please note that this video is available until Monday, May 24th, and will only be available to registered students afterwards.

Thanks for reading and watching, and thanks for your continued support.

—Adam Haritan

Foraging Wild Mushrooms — Online Course Enrollment Opens Monday

Greetings,

The spring mushroom season is well underway for many of us, and although morels have called it quits in more than a few parts of the country, plenty of additional edible mushrooms will faithfully appear over the next several months.

In anticipation of the late spring/early summer mushroom season, I’m excited to announce that registration for my online course will open on Monday, May 17th.

Foraging Wild Mushrooms is a four-season course designed to help you confidently and successfully forage wild mushrooms.  This course is presented entirely online and it features over 70 exclusive videos that cover all the essentials for beginner-level mushroom hunters, including mushroom ecology; mushroom biology; common edible mushrooms; medicinal mushrooms; poisonous mushrooms; cooking techniques; medicine-making; and more.

Registration for Foraging Wild Mushrooms will be open for one week only, from midnight on May 17th to Monday, May 24th.  After May 24th, registration will be closed.

Upon registration, you can watch the videos at your own pace and you will have access to the course forever.

If you are interested in signing up for Foraging Wild Mushrooms, mark your calendar for Monday, May 17th and visit this link.  All additional information — including course outline and tuition — will be posted on Monday.

I look forward to seeing you on Monday!
-Adam Haritan

What It Takes To Find Morel Mushrooms

Experience has shown me that morel mushroom hunting involves no less than three general factors.

Luck.

Like a first-time bowler who bowls a 200 game, some people find morel mushroom honey holes without even trying.

Skill.

This is a somewhat more predictable factor.  Without proper awareness of habitat, timing, and tree associations, a successful morel hunt will be impaired.

Persistence.

Any inveterate morel hunter will tell you that leg work is essential.  In order to consistently find, one must fearlessly seek.

During a recent excursion in the woods, I found several morels near elms and tulip poplars.  Instead of harvesting every mushroom and calling it a day, I decided to film a video and analyze the specific factors involved in finding such a bounty.

The following analysis parallels the specific points mentioned in the previous video (“6 Reasons You Can’t Find Morels”) in order to help you better locate these elusive fungi.

You can watch the brand new video here.

Experience has also shown me that encountering spring migratory birds can be just as exciting as finding morels.  This particular bird spent his winter in Central America and has recently returned to the wilds of Pennsylvania.  Have you seen him or heard his song?  Check out the latest Instagram post to learn more.Click to view post

I was a recent guest on the Awake Aware Alive podcast hosted by Jacob Gossel.  In this interview, we discuss many topics including how to read landscapes more effectively, the importance of learning directly from humans, and what I think about ticks.  You can listen to the interview through one of the following links:

Thanks for reading and watching, and thanks for your continued support!

-Adam Haritan