Looking For Something To Forage This Weekend? Check Out These Jelly Mushrooms!

Greetings, and Happy New Year!

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!

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

-Adam Haritan

This Wild Edible Winter Mushroom Has A Deadly Look-Alike

Greetings!

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!

-Adam Haritan

Nature’s Solution To Staying Healthy This Winter Season

Greetings!

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.

If you’re seeking new ways to optimize your health, especially for the new year, check out the online store!

And as always, thanks for your support!  I truly appreciate it!
-Adam Haritan

Here’s An Easy (And Delicious!) Way To Consume More Wild Plants & Mushrooms

Greetings!

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!

-Adam Haritan

This Wild Mushroom Is No Longer Recommended For Eating

Greetings!

With only a handful of weeks left in 2018, I’m hitting the road one last time this year to offer a few exciting events.  During these programs, I’ll be discussing the bounty of mushrooms and other foods associated with one of my favorite groups of trees:  oaks!  Here’s the current schedule:

November 5, Clemson, SC: South Carolina Upstate Mycological Society
November 7, Atlanta, GA: Mushroom Club of Georgia
November 12, Slippery Rock, PA: Bartramian Audubon Society

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

Moving forward, let’s talk about the Angel Wing (Pleurocybella porrigens).

In older field guides, this fungus — which looks a lot like a small oyster mushroom — is listed as edible and good.  In more recent guides, this mushroom is accompanied by the warning:  not recommended for eating.  And according to many credible sources today, the Angel Wing is considered poisonous.

And not just mildly toxic, but deadly poisonous.

So how did it happen?  How does a mushroom go from being “edible and good” to “poisonous?”

Well, that’s the topic of today’s brand new video.  In it, I discuss the controversy associated with a species once widely touted as an edible mushroom.  Check it out!

 

I missed the opportunity to photograph this tiny green mushroom back in June, hoping that it would reappear during a more favorable moment in the future. Fortunately, it did… and I was able to spend a few precious minutes with this little green slimer last week.  Check out this recent Instagram post to hear more of the story!

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

-Adam Haritan

Here Are 16 Wild Mushrooms You Can Forage This Autumn

Greetings!

I’d like to say “thank you!” to everyone who registered for (and inquired about!) the upcoming Fall Flora & Fungi Outing on Saturday, October 14th at Cook Forest State Park.  The event filled to max capacity and registration is now closed.

If you’re interested in learning how to harvest and process acorns from start to finish, I’ll be demonstrating the steps involved for the Botanical Society of Western Pennsylvania on Monday, October 8th.  The topic is “Acorn History, Harvesting, & Preparation:  An Intimate Look At Pennsylvania’s Oak Trees,” and the meeting is free to the public.  If you’re interested in attending this event in Pittsburgh, click here for more information!

Next, let’s talk about edible mushrooms… specifically, the ones that can be harvested during the autumn season.

There are lots of them.  Perhaps more than you’d ever encounter during any other season.  Cool temperatures and ample rainfall provide the perfect conditions for fungal growth, and if you’re prepared for the bounty, you’ll never leave the woods empty handed.

In this brand new video, I cover 16 (yes… 16!) wild edible mushrooms you can forage right now.

Enjoy!

Okay… I forgot to include one mushroom.  This species makes the list at #17, and if you’re interested in learning more about an aromatic mushroom that loves hanging out in coniferous forests, check out this recent Instagram post!

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

-Adam Haritan

Fall Flora & Fungi Outing with Adam Haritan ~ New event scheduled!

Greetings!

I am excited to announce that I will be leading the Fall Flora & Fungi Outing on Sunday, October 14th at Cook Forest State Park in Western Pennsylvania.  And of course, I’d love for you to join us!

Autumn is the perfect season to explore Pennsylvania’s colorful land in search of interesting and useful plants, mushrooms, and trees.  We will spend the first part of this event in a mature oak forest learning the techniques involved in harvesting and processing acorns.  This year has already proven to be a banner year for many species of oaks whose acorns have been falling incessantly in Western Pennsylvania.  Participants will learn the steps involved in turning acorns into edible, delicious flour.  We will also search the area for oak-loving mushrooms of all types.

During the second part of the event, we will visit the old growth area of Cook Forest and explore the valley in search of mushrooms.  This particular section of the park is home to some of the oldest and tallest hemlock and pine trees in the Northeast.  Participants will learn the basics of mushroom hunting, including mushroom ecology and biology, edible species, medicinal species, and poisonous species.

Throughout the day, we’ll also discuss various plants — including the edible, medicinal, and poisonous species — that inhabit the old growth forest.

Interested?  Here are more details:

What: Fall Flora & Fungi Outing with Adam Haritan
When: Sunday, October 14th, 2018
Where: Cook Forest State Park, Western Pennsylvania
Time: 9:30 AM — 4:30 PM

The program is geared toward adults and will entail moderate hiking.

Please note that in order to maximize your learning experience, space is limited and registration with payment in advance is required to secure your spot.

To purchase your ticket, and to learn more about the outing, please visit the following link.

Fall Flora & Fungi Outing with Adam Haritan

I’d love to see you there!
—Adam Haritan

 

Have You Ever Eaten Milk Cap Mushrooms?

Greetings!

I’d like to tell you about wild mushrooms that ooze latex.

Known as “milk cap mushrooms,” these fungi may not seem worthy of anyone’s appetite, though they are certainly a group worth learning!

Milk cap mushrooms form important associations with various trees, and the value of these mushrooms to wildlife (specifically to animals and insects) is high.  Additionally, many milk cap mushrooms have been shown to be sources of naturally occurring rubber.

Perhaps the most exciting feature of milk cap mushrooms (at least from the mycophagist’s perspective) is that some of them are edible… and quite delicious!  Featured in this new video is a milk cap mushroom that perhaps you’ve been overlooking all these years.  If you’re interested in adding a new species to your list, check it out!

Mushrooms grow on all kinds of substrates, including trees, leaves, insects, soil… and hickory husks!  This time of year, a yellowish-orange mushroom can be seen fruiting from hickory and walnut debris.  Have you seen it?  Check out this recent Instagram post to learn more!

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

-Adam Haritan

Locating Wild Deer Truffles ~ And Other Fascinating Fungi!

Greetings!

First, I’d like to say “thank you!” to everyone who attended a Learn Your Land event over the past few months.  It’s always a wonderful experience meeting nature enthusiasts around the country!  I still have plenty of events scheduled throughout the upcoming months.  If you’re local to any of these areas, I’d love to meet you!

September 8, Muskegon, MI: Michigan Mushroom Hunters Club — Fungus Fest
September 9, Owosso, MI: Wild Edibles Walk & Mushroom Outing
September 21-23, Prairie du Chien, WI: Midwest Wild Harvest Festival
October 8, Pittsburgh, PA: Botanical Society of Western PA evening presentation
November 5, Clemson, SC: South Carolina Upstate Mycological Society evening presentation
November 7, Atlanta, GA: Mushroom Club of Georgia evening presentation

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

Moving forward, let’s talk about deer truffles.

These fungi exist a few inches below the surface of the earth in a mutualistic association with various trees.  What’s more, deer truffles are valued food sources for a variety of forest-dwelling animals.

Because they grow underground, deer truffles are among the most elusive fungi in the world.  However, there is a simple trick to finding them, and if you’re interested in finding your very own deer truffles this season, check out the brand new video!

Stinkhorns aren’t your typical mushrooms.  One look at them (and a quick whiff of them!) should hint at their uniqueness.  Pictured here are a few interesting stinkhorns I recently found in a local forest.  Check out this recent Instagram post to learn more!

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

-Adam Haritan

New event scheduled! Old Growth Forest Hike & Spring Water Gathering

Greetings!

I am excited to announce that I will be leading the Old Growth Forest Hike & Spring Water Gathering during the weekend of August 25th and 26th at Cook Forest State Park.  And of course, I’d love for you to join us!

If you’ve never experienced the magnificence of Cook Forest, it truly is one of the most remarkable natural areas in Pennsylvania.  This particular ecosystem encompasses one of the last remaining old growth forests in the entire eastern United States, currently hosting 11 old growth areas that total over 2,300 acres.  One of these areas within the park, the Forest Cathedral, contains arguably the finest concentration of old growth trees in the northeastern United States.  This special area is home to dozens of old growth eastern white pine and hemlock trees, many over 300 years old and towering above 140 feet in height!

In this event, we will hike and explore the Forest Cathedral surrounded by Pennsylvania’s tallest and oldest trees while discussing:

  • Edible and medicinal plants
  • Edible and medicinal mushrooms
  • Tree identification, along with edible and medicinal uses
  • Medicine-making using wild plants and mushrooms
  • Natural history of the area

…and lots more!

For the second part of the event, we will visit a pristine spring to gather wild Pennsylvania water straight from the source.  As you may or may not know, I’ve been harvesting wild water from springs all over the country as part of my personal health strategy for several years, championing the idea that nature’s wild water can provide the perfect alternative to other conventional hydration strategies (tap water, bottled water, commercial filters, etc.).

During this second part of the event, we will discuss the benefits of drinking wild spring water, the importance of developing your own personalized water strategy, and locations of other fantastic springs.  You are encouraged to bring your own collection vessels so that you can harvest fresh, clean spring water following the event.

Interested?  Here are more details:

What: Old Growth Forest Hike & Spring Water Gathering
When: Saturday, August 25th OR Sunday, August 26th
Where: Cook Forest State Park, Western Pennsylvania
Time: 12:00 PM — 5:00 PM

The program is geared toward adults and will entail moderate hiking (about 1.5 miles).

Please note that in order to maximize your learning experience, space is limited and registration with payment in advance is required to secure your spot.

To purchase your ticket, and to learn more about the outing, please visit the following link and choose the appropriate session:

Old Growth Forest Hike & Spring Water Gathering

I’d love to see you there!
—Adam Haritan