In my neck of the woods, January is certainly not the most prolific month in terms of wild edible mushrooms. Snow-covered soil and freezing temperatures aren’t very conducive to ample mushroom activity.
Lately, however, conditions around here have been quite different.
The ground is devoid of snow and temperatures have been mild. As a result, our wild woody decomposers — in particular, the fungi that feed on trees — continue to thrive.
Chief among these winter woody decomposers are our jelly fungi. These mushrooms are unique in that their fruiting bodies can persist for months on a stick, log, or stump in a dehydrated or frozen state… only to rebound during a winter rain or warm spell.
Two fascinating jelly fungi that flourish during the winter season include the world-famous Wood Ear (popular in soup recipes) and the Amber Jelly Roll (a close look-alike). Both mushrooms are edible and both are often found in abundance… even amongst snow and freezing temperatures.
If you’re interested in foraging these two enticing jelly fungi this weekend (and perhaps all winter long), check out the brand new video!
Speaking of edible gelatinous mushrooms, the Orange Jelly Fungus is another common component of the winter forest. Though I don’t feature this species in the aforementioned video, I do discuss its key features in a recent Instagram post. Check it out!
First, I want to say “thank you!” to everyone who purchased a medicinal mushroom tincture last week during the online sale. I didn’t expect this to happen so quickly, though I sold out of my entire inventory and no longer have any products in stock. If you’re interested in purchasing medicinal mushroom tinctures, I will have more available toward the end of January.
Second, let’s talk about Enoki — a wild edible mushroom you can forage during the coldest months of the year. This fungus, also known as Enokitake and Velvet Foot, is often overlooked in the wild due to its smaller size. Interestingly, Enoki is cultivated on a commercial scale and can also be purchased in many grocery stores.
Before you begin your search for wild Enoki mushrooms, however, there’s one thing you should know.
Enoki is not the easiest mushroom to positively identify. It resembles several other LBMs (little brown mushrooms) that grow in similar habitats during similar seasons. To make matters a bit riskier, some of these LBMs are very toxic.
In this new video, I share some tips on positively identifying the wild Enoki mushroom. I also compare and contrast this species to the Deadly Galerina — a poisonous LBM that could be confused for the edible Enoki mushroom.
If you’re interested in safely and confidently harvesting wild edible mushrooms this winter season, check out the brand new video!
Have you seen any brightly colored fungi recently? Plenty, including Mock Oysters, can be found even during the remaining days of autumn. Check out this recent Instagram post to learn more!Click to view post
Thanks for reading and watching, and as always, thank you for your support!
It’s no surprise that I love finding, researching, and discussing medicinal mushrooms. Plenty of research suggests that these wild fungi demonstrate powerful anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral effects, and many experts consider them to be top candidates for immune-system support.
Here’s what the research says:
A 2012 study from ISRN Oncology found that the Turkey Tail mushroom significantly improved the immune systems of breast cancer patients following conventional treatment.
The Chaga fungus is one of the richest sources of betulinic acid, a compound that has been shown to exhibit anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anti-HIV, anti-malaria, and antioxidant effects (Current Medical Chemistry, 2005).
A Maitake mushroom extract has been shown to demonstrate protection against diabetes by slowing glucose absorption in the body (Biotechnology and Applied Biochemistry, 2013).
And the list goes on and on.
In addition to sharing the videos I film, another passion of mine is creating high-quality wild food supplements using the finest ingredients, including wild harvested mushrooms and locally gathered Pennsylvania spring water. These are all medicines I consume on a routine basis to optimize my health and maintain a robust immune system.
For the next two weeks, I am offering a sale on all medicinal mushroom extracts from the online store. All products are discounted, and all orders placed in the United States will receive free shipping!
Because I create extractions in small batches to ensure quality, I only have a limited amount available. Once these tinctures are sold out, I won’t have another batch ready for about 8 weeks.
I’ve asked five blog contributors to share their favorite herb-related gift ideas. HSA’s blog will be running one per day during the first week of December. – Paris Wolfe, Blogmaster
By Beth Schreibman-Gehring, Chairman of Education for The Western Reserve Herb Society unit of The Herb Society of America
My father had over three acres of the most glorious organic gardens, filled with historic roses, lilies, and every kind of beautiful perennial and herb imaginable. I remember perfect summer evenings when he’d wander his gardens with a cocktail in one hand and a sprinkling hose in the other. He taught me everything I know about growing beautiful gardens organically and with a minimum of intervention.
The funny thing about my father is that he didn’t have a garage full of tools. He wasn’t into the latest, greatest gardening anything, well except for permaculture which really isn’t a latest and greatest secret…
As the Winter Solstice is coming up quickly and the tree just went up this past week, I’ve been busy in my art studio and out on the land looking for great things to add to the Yule tree. As a druid who is deeply concerned about the amount of plastic and “throw away‘ quick purchase items, like cheap plastic ornaments, I didn’t want to buy any ornaments for the tree, but rather, to make them from wildcrafted materials. So today, I wanted to share two simple ways to make nice ornaments for a Yule tree from natural materials and simple tools.
Handmade Stag and Pentacle Tree Topper with Handmade Ornaments
Painted or Burned Wooden Round Ornaments
One simple method for creating ornaments is a painted or woodburned wood rounds. These are simple slices of wood that you can decorate in a variety of ways–painting them, burning…
Every year, I look forward to the black raspberries that grow all throughout the fields and wild places where I live. These black raspberries are incredibly flavorful with with crunchy seeds. They have never been commercialized, meaning no company has grown them for profit. You cannot buy them in the store. You can only wait for late June and watch them ripen and invest the energy in picking. Each year, the black raspberries and so many other fruits, nuts, and wild foods are a gift from the land, the land that offers such abundance. If I would purchase such berries in a store, my relationship with those berries would be fairly instrumental–I pay for them, they become part of a transaction, and then I eat them. There is no heart in such a transaction. But because these berries can’t be bought or sold, when I pick…
A long time ago, Anne and I traveled to Ireland. We vagabonded slowly down the west coast from hostel to hostel, over green hills to rugged seaside cliffs, stopping at standing stones and the ruins of circle forts, visiting old-growth forests left intact for hundreds of years. One day we were wandering in the southwest corner of the island with the goal of reaching one of those old forests. We crossed over a small waterfall. We walked between two ancient, massive linden trees whose roots and branches had grown together, leaving an almond-shaped opening just wide enough for us to cross. And finally, we came to the oak wood we’d been seeking. The trees were old, yes, but not very tall: craggy, leaning at odd angles, with moss covering their trunks up to the lower branches. This forest is still part of a protected area…
The leaves have fallen from most of the deciduous trees in my neck of the woods (save for a few Norway maples and persistent oaks), and even though the year is dwindling with predictable haste, wild edible plants and mushrooms can still be found.
During a recent walk through a local floodplain, I was excited to find several fresh greens sprouting amongst the leaf litter. Many of these plants were herbaceous members of the celery family, and a few others were aromatic species related to mints and chives.
Rather than treating them as trailside nibbles, I decided to harvest these tasty plants and incorporate them into a wild, homemade vegetable broth. With the addition of wild edible mushrooms, the broth was incredibly easy to make and quite delicious.
If you’re interested in learning how to forage local plants and mushrooms so that you too can create a homemade vegetable broth, check out the brand new video!
Have you seen this waxcap mushroom? Few fungi resemble this species, and if you’re in the right habitat, perhaps you’ll encounter a specimen or two! Check out this recent Instagram post to learn more about the violet-colored waxcap.Click to view post
Thanks for reading and watching, and as always, thank you for your support!
There is nothing quite as majestic as an oak, which is likely why ancient druids met in groves of them to perform their ceremonies. As I write this, I look at my glorious black oaks, white oaks, and burr oaks in the surrounding landscape and their incredible mantle of gold, tan, crimson and oranges. Where I live, the oaks keep the green on their leaves through most of the fall season, and begin their transition into color just before Samhain. The oaks and beeches, here, are the very last to lose their leaves–if they lose them at all. Many of the oaks, especially the younger ones, keep their leaves all winter, dry and crackling, and only drop them before they bud out again in the spring. Their behavior in the fall and winter months is certainly a testament to their energy and…
“The name ‘November’ is believed to derive from ‘novem’ which is the Latin for the number ‘nine’. In the ancient
Roman calendar November was the ninth month after March. As part of the seasonal calendar November is the
time of the ‘Snow Moon’ according to Pagan beliefs and the period described as the ‘Moon of the Falling Leaves’
by Black Elk.”
“This association of death with fertility provided the theological background for a great number of end-of-harvest festivals celebrated by many cultures across Eurasia. Like Samhain, these festivals (which, for example, included the rituals of the Dyedy (“Ancestors”) in the Slavic countries and the Vetrarkvöld festival in Scandinavia) linked the successful resumption of the agricultural cycle (after a period of apparent winter “death”) to the propitiation of the human community’s dead. The dead have passed away from the social concerns of this world to the primordial chaos of the Otherworld where all fertility has its roots…