Now’s The Time To Harvest This Great North American Superfood!

Greetings!

I’m excited to partner with Forager’s Harvest in Bruce, Wisconsin for an evening mushroom walk on Thursday, August 9th.  We’ll explore the area in search of summer mushrooms, as well as identify mushrooms that participants bring to the program.  If you’re in the Midwest this August 9th, I’d love to meet you!  More information can be found here.

Next, let’s talk about foods that are super…

When many people think of the word “superfood,” images of expensive powders, fancy juices, and exotic herbs come to mind.

When I think of the word “superfood,” images of local plants, backyard weeds, and brambly fruits come to mind.

As nature would have it, North America (and every habitable continent!) is replete with a cornucopia of superfoods manifested as wild fruits, nuts, seeds, and herbs.

The wild blueberry is one common fruit that, despite its ubiquity, is certainly a superfood in every sense of the word.  Tasty, abundant, and brimming with health-promoting compounds, its value to both humans and wildlife cannot be overstated.

I recently spent some time in the company of a few wild blueberry shrubs and decided to document the experience.  If you’re interested in learning why I recommend the wild blueberry as a regular component of the human diet (and garden!), check out the brand new video!

Have you been finding any choice edible mushrooms lately?  Here’s a list of 8 edible fungi you’re likely to encounter during the warmest weeks of the year… especially after a good rainfall!

Thanks for reading and watching, and as always, thank you for your support!

Adam Haritan

Mahonia & Lavender Oat Bars: Berry Delicious! — Gather Victoria

Mahonia & Lavender Oat Bars …

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You may not have heard of Mahonia berries but I know you’d love them – and they’re likely growing near you. Mahonia japonica and Mahonia bealei are both extremely common ornamental shrubs found in a wide variety of urban spaces – and in early July both are laden with deep blue dusky berries hanging in fat grape-like clusters.…

via Mahonia & Lavender Oat Bars: Berry Delicious! — Gather Victoria

The Wild Mushroom That Tastes Like Garlic

By Adam Haritan

Greetings!

One of the best parts about being a nature enthusiast is getting to meet other nature enthusiasts around the country.  Over the next few months, I’ll be giving talks and leading walks throughout the Northeast and I’d love to meet you!  Here’s the most recent schedule of upcoming events:

July 20-21:  Shelly Conrad – Gary Lincoff 2018 Memorial Foray in Davis, WV
July 26-29:  NEMF Mushroom Foray in Geneseo, NY
August 10-12:  Mushrooms as Food & Medicine in Bruce, WI
September 7-9:  Michigan Mushroom Hunters Club — Fungus Fest in Twin Lake, MI
September 9:  Wild Edibles Walk & Mushroom Outing in Owosso, MI
September 21-23:  Midwest Wild Harvest Festival in Prairie du Chien, WI

For more information on these events, check out the Learn Your Land event calendar.

Moving forward, let’s talk about the garlic mushroom.  This edible fungus smells and tastes like garlic, and you can use it as a substitute for garlic in meals.

Strangely enough, this alliaceous mushroom hasn’t made its way into supermarkets, though fortunately it can be found growing profusely underneath coniferous and hardwood trees around the world.  Perhaps it’s even growing in your backyard.

To learn more about this marvelous little mushroom, check out the brand new video!

Speaking of marvelous species, wild orchids are at the top of the list.  This particular orchid is blooming right now, though if you’re interested in observing its flower, be prepared to get your feet wet.  Check out this recent Instagram post to learn more!

Thanks for reading and watching, and as always, thank you for your support!

-Adam Haritan

The Forager’s: Foraging for Summertime Herbs

The Forager’s: Foraging For Summertime Herbs …

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Go beyond the confines of the garden and into the wild to find some of nature’s most valuable medicine.

Summer is the perfect time to stock up on nature’s healing gifts. But all too often we walk right by these treasures, not recognizing them as valuable plants. Learning how to identify and then use a variety of edible and medicinal plants in your region can open up a world of botanicals, not only providing you with access to important medicine but also helping you familiarize yourself with the wilderness that abounds.

Five Rules for Sustainable Foraging

Before you head out into the fields and forests to harvest plants, you need to know a bit about foraging ethics, as well as the dangers that certain plants can pose. In an environmentally fragile world, you want to proceed without taking from nature in ways that are harmful.

  1. Properly identify the plant

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Getting to Know Lyre-Leaf Sage

Getting to know Lyre-leaf Sage …

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Having fallen into disuse, this North American species is making a comeback thanks to some notable herbalists and a nod from the Herb Society of America.

Graceful, light-blue wildflowers border the roads and cover swaths of meadows in periwinkle, from the Mid-Atlantic to Missouri and from Florida to Texas. Known as “just a roadside weed” or invasive species, lyre-leaf sage has a lengthy history. A much-valued wild edible and medicinal plant of indigenous people, and a time-honored remedy in the southern folk traditions, this North American sage has been chosen by the Herb Society of America as the Notable Native Herb of 2018.

lyre leaf sage

Lyrata in the Garden

A beautiful, wild, flowering plant, lyre-leaf sage {Salvia lyrata} is part of the Lamiaceae {mint} family along with rosemary and oregano, and it’s closely related to garden sage {Salvia officinalsi}.

The only sage native to the United States, it has reportedly grown as…

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Wild Food Profile: Milkweed + Fried Milkweed Pod Recipe

Wild Food Profile …

The Druid's Garden

Monarch catepillar enjoying a milkweed feast--they know the good stuff when they see it! Monarch caterpillar enjoying a milkweed feast–they know the good stuff when they see it!

I love the summer months for foraging wild foods.  One of my very favorite wild foods is Common Milkweed (asclepias syriaca).  Around here, the pods are just beginning to form–and its a great time to explore this delightful wild food.  They have a light vegetable taste, maybe something like a sugar snap pea–very tasty and delicious.  In fact, this is one of the best wild foods, allowing you to have four different harvests from the plant at four different times during the spring, summer, and early fall.

Ethical Harvesting and Nurturing Practice

With the excitement of harvesting from common milkweed, however, comes a serious responsibility.  New farming techniques over the last 20 years have eliminated many of the hedges that used to be full of milkweed.  Because of this issue, the monarchs have been in serious…

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Southwest Gardening: Sacred Mesquite ~Recipes

By Crooked Bear Organics

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Mesquite grows well in desert areas from the southwestern United States to the Andean regions of South America. Traditionally, native peoples of the Southwest depended on mesquite. It provided food, fuel, shelter, weapons, medicine, and cosmetics. As times changed, and as refined sugar and wheat flour became staples, the role of mesquite was diminished.

mesquite flour

Mesquite meal was once made by hand-grinding the plant’s seeds and pods on stones. Now modern milling techniques speed up the process, grinding the entire mesquite pod at once, including the protein-rich seed. This produces a meal that is highly nutritious as well as very flavorful. The meal ground from the pod contains 11 to 17 percent protein. High lysine content makes it the perfect addition to other grains that are low in this amino acid.

mesquiteflourfinal400

http://www.mesquiteflour.com/

Although desert dwellers used mesquite pods as a source of food for centuries, when you order and use this product…

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Blackberry and their Folk Traditions

By Elder Mountain Dreaming

Elder Mountain Dreaming @ gmail

By Phoenix of Elder Mountain –We have lots and lots of Blackberries bushes and hedges that grow all around Elder Mountain. We collect the fruit for eating, the leaves for an herbal tea winter remedy and the twigs for a folk smudge stick. I love blackberries in the mid to late summer and they are known to be a main source of summer nourishment for local bears. I thought I would research some Blackberry traditions and folklore so you can have access to use them in your Summer endeavors.

Edible and Medicinal, the blackberry has uses in both Native American lore and Western Europeans for centuries. It has a long history of healing female disorders and being used in spells for protection from ghosts and vampires. Used in syrups, teas and pies, blackberry leaves are cooling and the roots are astringent. Often used to treat sore throats, wounds and…

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One Of My Favorite Places To Find Incredible Wild Plants & Mushrooms

Greetings!

First, I want to say “Thank you!” to everyone who pre-registered for the upcoming Summer Flora & Fungi Hike on July 7th.  Registration is now closed, as both walks have filled to max capacity.  Stay tuned for another Learn Your Land outdoor event to be held in August!

Second, let’s talk about ideal locations to find incredible wild plants and mushrooms.

Bogs are magical.  Floodplains are great.  Deciduous woods are wonderful, and forest edges are fantastic.

I love walking through all these unique ecosystems during all seasons of the year, though I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention an additional habitat that I absolutely love exploring…

A hemlock forest.

There’s something special about it.  Dark, moist, green, and aromatic… this is how I typically think of a hemlock forest.  Deep in these woods, incredible wild plants and mushrooms can often be found if the conditions are right.

I recently explored a hemlock forest in search of summer’s flora and fungi.  Needless to say, I brought my camera along and documented the experience.  If you’re interested in learning a few new incredible plants and mushrooms (some of which are edible and medicinal!), check out the brand new video!

Speaking of incredible wild fungi, Black Trumpet mushrooms are appearing right now.  These fungi are some of the tastiest wild mushrooms on the planet, though they’re not always so easy to find.  Check out this recent Instagram post to learn a few foraging tips!

Thanks for reading and watching, and as always, thank you for your support!

-Adam Haritan

Did You Find Any Morel Mushrooms This Year?

Greetings!

During the weekend of June 8th — 10th, I’ll be participating in the Great Lakes Foragers’ Gathering in Grass Lake, Michigan.  This event is considered to be the largest annual gathering of wild food enthusiasts in the Great Lakes region.  I’ll be leading a few mushroom walks and programs on Saturday and Sunday.  Additional presenters include Samuel Thayer (nationally recognized foraging author), Rachel Mifsud (creator of Will Forage For Food), and several others.  If you’re interested in attending, click here!

Moving forward, let’s talk about spring’s most popular fungi.

Morel mushrooms are among the most alluring and widely recognized wild edible fungi intensively collected by mushroom hunters.

They’re tasty, they’re elusive, and they’re some of the first fungi to appear during the early spring weeks.  No two morel mushroom hunts are the same, and even an “unsuccessful” hunt through an old, familiar spot is likely to yield auxiliary benefits including fresh air, wildflower sightings, and long overdue exercise!

In my neck of the woods, the morel mushroom season is just about finished.  Over the past few weeks, however, I documented a few of my experiences on video.  If you’re interested in seeing what I discovered, check it out!

Speaking of fungi, almost all wild orchid species require relationships with fungi to germinate successfully and grow into beautiful plants.  What’s the reasoning behind this?  And for how long do these intimate relationships last?  Check out this recent Instagram post to learn more!

Thanks for reading and watching, and as always, thank you for your support!

-Adam Haritan