Foraging Wild Mushrooms ~ Online Course Is Now Open For Enrollment

I’m very 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 75 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.

Additionally, I’m equally excited to let you know that a portion of all proceeds derived from course sales will be donated to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy — a nonprofit organization whose mission it is to protect and restore exceptional places and forests for the benefit of present and future generations.

Since 1932, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy has protected more than a quarter-million acres of natural places.  To express gratitude, and to ensure that these and many more wild places exist for generations to come, I find it imperative to support organizations that in turn directly support the land.

Therefore, a portion of all proceeds derived from this enrollment period will be donated to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy for use in land conservation.

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

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

I hope to see you in there!
—Adam Haritan

Getting Results with Herbs, a free training with Rosalee de la Forêt

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

We are thrilled to share with you that Learning Herbs will open their registration this morning for Taste of Herbs with herbalist and best-selling author Rosalee de la Forêt who has created a transformative online training.

Rosalee writes and teaches with such substance, and depth, but also makes it very easy and practical for people to understand.  In Rosalee’s ‘Taste of Herbs’, she has a way of showing people how to understand and apply the energetics of herbs to every day herbalism and it is quite brilliant.

Click here to register!

Source: Getting Results with Herbs, a free training with Rosalee de la Forêt

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Looking for Buffalo Nuts (New video!) + Nature Photography Workshop

Greetings,

Some plants are easy to find.  Other plants require time, turnpike tolls, and chance encounters with botanists’ field notes in order to pinpoint their precise locations.

Buffalo Nut, an understory shrub with a rather bizarre lifestyle, falls into the latter category.

My first encounter with Buffalo Nut took place more than 5 years ago.  Since that initial sighting, I had never seen the plant again.

A few weeks ago, I came across a list of plants that a few botanists had compiled regarding the flora of certain forests.  One of those forests was located in the southwestern portion of the state, and one of the plants included on the list was the elusive Buffalo Nut.

Intrigued, I decided to plan a visit to this forest in search of Buffalo Nut, though because I was quite unfamiliar with the area, I knew that I’d be embarking on a small-scale adventure.  What excited me the most was finding its fruits, because years ago when I first discovered the plant, I had only witnessed it in flower.

The trip was planned, though the questions remained.  Would I find the fruits?  Would I even find the plant?  Why are turnpike tolls so expensive?

In this brand new video, I recount the story of my recent adventure in search of an unassuming denizen of the forest.

Click here to watch the video.

If you are interested in learning artistic nature photography skills, there are two upcoming opportunities to learn directly from an expert in the field.  Michael Haritan (my father) is a photographer with over 30 years of experience.  He will be teaching two separate classes in southwestern Pennsylvania (Allegheny County) on the techniques involved in using the camera to create images worthy of artistic merit.  If you are interested in taking your photography skills to the next level, these all-day classes are definitely worth the investment.

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

-Adam Haritan

A Weed Lover’s Manifesto

The Herb Society of America Blog


By Andrea Jackson

I love weeds. There, I said it.  Don’t worry, I do pull them (there’s a reason why they’re called weeds, after all), but I am much more likely to make a tincture or a salve or something good (yes, good) to eat than to discard them completely.

After all, weeds were really the first herbs. Emerson said “weeds are but an unloved flower.” They have also been called a plant out of place. Consider a field of commercial dandelions with a single forlorn rose bush growing in the middle. Now which one is the weed?

Plantago_major_SZ356869_Freshwater_MCotterill_IWNHASWeeds tell wonderful stories, and as we learn them, they take us on a journey to discover where they came from and how they came to be who they are today. 

For example, there’s the common broadleaf plantain (Plantago major). Broadleaf plantain is everywhere, which is a good thing for…

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Nose-Twisting Nasturtiums

The Herb Society of America Blog

By Susan Belsinger

Bloody Mary1Plant Profile
Family: Tropaeolaceae
Scientific name: Tropaeolum majus
Common names: nasturtium, Indian cress, trophy cress, trophywort
Native Habitat: Peru, parts of South America
Plant Type: Annual
Growth Habit: Dwarf bushy cultivars grow from 8 to 18 inches in height, while the climbers can easily reach 6 to 10 feet, or more.
Hardiness: Hardy in frost-free locations
Light: Best in full sun; can tolerate a few hours of shade, which produces more leaves with fewer flowers
Water: Moist but not wet; will tolerate some drought
Soil: Friable and porous garden loam, well-drained soil; does well in containers
                                                                                   Propagation

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Looking For Poison In All The Wet Places

Greetings,

Swampy wetlands can be unforgiving places during the summer months.  The vegetation is thick, the mosquitoes are hungry, and the lack of tree cover forbids any kind of refuge from the mid-day sun.

Strange as it may seem, I still find myself drawn to these soggy habitats in search of organisms that are not commonly encountered elsewhere.  Wet feet and insect bites are small prices to pay in exchange for opportunities to observe and learn new species.

During a recent trip to one of these remote wetlands in western Pennsylvania, I experienced quite a spectacle: the flowers of swamp rose; the immature fruits of winterberry; and the thread-like stems of dodder intimately engaging with every herbaceous plant in sight.

Amongst this activity, I couldn’t help but notice a shrubby plant inhabiting the margins.  Insects were crawling up and down its branches and birds were singing in its canopy, but I knew that any physical contact between the plant and my skin could result in serious consequences.

This plant, which is known as poison sumac, can lead to painful rashes in over 85% of humans.  Susceptible individuals experience symptoms similar to (and reportedly worse than) the reactions caused by poison ivy.

Instead of avoiding the plant, I decided to film a video in which I discuss not only the unique ability of poison sumac to cause skin irritations in humans, but also its ecological value in supporting the health of other organisms.

If you are interested in learning more, check out the new video!

I was a recent guest on the Wild Fed Podcast hosted by Daniel Vitalis.  We covered lots of topics in this interview including plant and fungal interactions, the sustainability of gathering food from the land, the importance of learning non-edible species, and lots more.  You can listen to the conversation here.

Speaking of plant and fungal interactions, did you know that wild blueberries depend on fungi for sustenance?  Without these inter-kingdom relationships, far fewer blueberry shrubs would probably exist.  Check out a recent Instagram post to learn more.

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

-Adam Haritan

Medicinal Herb Gardening for Beginners

Written and Photographed by Mary Plantwalker

I love herbal medicine but I’ve never grown herbs—how do I begin an herb garden?


Have you or someone you know been asking this question lately? Then read on for inspirational and empowering steps for growing medicinal herbs at home—we give even the brownest thumb enough fertilizer to succeed in medicinal herb gardening! We’ll help feed the roots for a DIY herb garden that will leave both you and your plants grounded. If you want more tips, see Juliet’s article on growing the herb garden of your dreams.

The Time Is Now to Start Your First Herb Garden

I’ve grown vegetables, flowers, fruit trees, berries, and ornamentals, but my favorite thing across the board is growing medicinal herbs. They are so satisfying—once you have them established they will generously give you medicine year after year after year. When you are able to fill your own apothecary, you’ll feel a sense of sovereignty that can’t be bought. Take this opportunity to get your own medicine growing now as the harvest doesn’t happen overnight! You will also be able to better apply the in-depth knowledge found in Juliet’s forthcoming book, The Healing Garden: Cultivating & Handcrafting Herbal Remedies.

In this present time of COVID-19, and the food and herb shortages we have already experienced, growing your own medicine becomes even more essential.

Read original article at: Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine ~ Medicinal Herb Gardening for Beginners

Spicebush to the Rescue

The Herb Society of America Blog

By Kaila Blevins

Author Volunteer TripWhile on a volunteer trip in Orlando, Florida, I was desperate for bug spray. In the middle of December, the mosquitoes nibbled on any exposed skin they could find, leaving me and the rest of the unprepared Maryland native participants with patches of red swollen bumps on our ankles and arms. Our guides, a retired couple who volunteers with the state parks, became our heroes on the second day of the trip. During our lunch break, the husband saunters over to us, carrying a branch from a nearby shrub and states, “This is spicebush. Crush its leaves and rub it onto your arms. Keeps the bugs away and helps the itch.” Immediately, we passed the branch around, ripped the leaves off the branch, crumpled them, and rubbed the lemon-peppery scented oil onto our skin.

A couple years later, I would learn that spicebush (Lindera benzoin)…

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Sacred Tree Profile: Staghorn Sumac (Rhus Typhina)

The Druid's Garden

A lovely stand of staghorn sumac in bloom! A lovely stand of staghorn sumac in bloom!

As we begin the march from summer into fall, the Staghorn Sumac are now in bloom.  With their flaming flower heads reaching into the sky, the Staghorn sumac are striking upon our landscape.  As fall comes, the Staghorn Sumac leaves turn fiery red before dropping and leaving their beautiful, antler-like, and hairy stems behind.  All through the winter months, the Staghorn Sumac stems stand like antlers reaching into the heavens, until they bud and spring returns again.  This post explores the medicine, magic, ecology, herbalism, craft, and bushcraft uses, and lore surrounding these amazing trees.

This post is a part of my Sacred Trees in the Americas series, which is my long-running series where I focus on trees that are dominant along the Eastern USA and Midwest USA, centering on Western PA, where I live.  Previous trees in this series have included:

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A Day In the Garden – Urban Moonshine

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

GO INTO THE GARDEN EVERY DAY, NO MATTER WHAT.

That’s the promise I made at the start of the season. It will be a daily ritual, a practice to keep me in tune with the growth and health of the garden, and a sure way not to miss a bit of garden gossip. Like a bustling city full of honking horns, buses whizzing by, and street conversations half-heard, there is endless activity to observe. Cucumber beetles rapidly working to destroy the cucumber crop. Birds ravishing the cherry tree singing loudly to their friends to join in on the feast. Earthworms patiently turning the soil underfoot. Never a dull moment, but you need to go to the garden every day to keep up.

That has been my biggest lesson gardening this year. If you’re not there to enjoy the first ripe strawberries, the squirrels will be happy to take on that…

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