Reflections On Eating One Of The Strangest Mushrooms In The World

Stinkhorns, with their presumptuous shapes and foul odors, are truly some of the strangest creatures in the biological world.  Any rational person could be forgiven for assuming that such bizarre fungi couldn’t possibly be edible.

Fortunately, however, nature isn’t always rational, and foul-smelling entities with presumptuous shapes can sometimes be eaten.

Take Ravenel’s Stinkhorn, for instance.

This strongly-scented fungus grows in wood chips and along trails during the autumn months.  As it turns out, Ravenel’s Stinkhorn is considered to be edible with one caveat:  only its immature “eggs” are supposedly fit to be eaten.

During a recent walk, I encountered quite a few of these funny-looking stinkhorns growing alongside their primordial eggs.  Rather than snap a few photographs and flee the scene, I decided to harvest a few eggs and see for myself just how edible these quirky creatures could be.

If you are interested in hearing my candid thoughts on eating one of the strangest mushrooms in the world, check out the brand new video!

Speaking of strange fungi, this odd-looking pair inhabits forests in eastern North America and performs critical roles in maintaining the health of oak trees.  Check out this recent Instagram post to learn more.Click to view post

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

-Adam Haritan

The Mushroom With A Questionable Reputation

Greetings,

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

Now on to this week’s brand new video — a video in which we take a look at the discrepancies involved in classifying nature.

Over the years I’ve come to realize that things in nature don’t always fit so neatly into human-constructed categories. 

Take the Freckled Dapperling, for instance.

The Freckled Dapperling is a wild mushroom that grows on plant debris during the autumn season.  Some sources claim that the Freckled Dapperling is edible; others state that it’s inedible; and plenty of other sources claim that it’s poisonous.

Needless to say, the Freckled Dapperling is a mushroom that’s certainly worthy of our attention, and in the following video, I do my best to answer some very important questions about this fascinating fungus.

To learn more about the questionable mushroom known as the Freckled Dapperling, check out the brand new video!

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

-Adam Haritan

The Delicious Wild Mushroom That Isn’t Always Recommended To Beginners

Greetings,

An autumn mushroom that you may see over the next few weeks is the Parasol Mushroom.  Edible, delicious, and easily spotted in the woods, the Parasol Mushroom is a favorite amongst many foragers for its nutty smell and taste.  

The Parasol Mushroom, however, is not the easiest mushroom to positively identify because it shares similar features with several other species — some of which are toxic.  Many field guides and online articles fail to include a sufficient number of images and offer little help in identifying the Parasol Mushroom.  Such lack of detail can leave readers with more questions than answers, and ultimately with no Parasol Mushrooms for dinner!

To address this issue and to assist with the identification process, I created an extremely detailed video outlining all the important pieces of information that any forager needs to know in order to safely and confidently harvest the Parasol Mushroom for the table.  This video is one of over 75 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, September 28th at midnight.  After September 28th, 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, please enjoy this video.

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. 

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

—Adam Haritan

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

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

4 Fascinating Orange Mushrooms Worth Learning

Greetings,

Orange is not the first word that comes to mind when most people think about a hemlock forest.  Greens, grays, tans, and browns are instead the colors that typify these densely shaded areas — especially as the early days of summer approach.

With careful observation, however, and with a directed focus on the fungal world, any color can easily make itself known in a dark forest.

On a recent walk through one of these areas, the only mushrooms that I encountered were orange.  Of course, I thought nothing of it upon seeing the first orange species, and I wasn’t too surprised after finding a second orange mushroom either.

But then I found a third, and eventually a fourth.

And I inevitably thought to myself, “Someone should document this.”

Fortunately, I brought my camera along for the adventure and decided to film the orange mushrooms that were appearing in succession.  All four mushrooms are fascinating, though a few of them are often overlooked and underappreciated despite their brilliant coloration.

If you are interested in learning more about orange mushrooms that may be growing in a forest near you, check out the new video.

When I am not looking down at the forest floor for plants and mushrooms, I am looking up into the canopy for birds of all colors.  Fortunately, I live in a region characterized by its avian diversity, and if you are interested in seeing some of the birds that have recently posed for my camera, check out the Learn Your Land Instagram page.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for your continued support!

-Adam Haritan

Be On The Lookout For This Elusive & Bizarre Edible Mushroom

Greetings,

Over the next few months, a strange wild mushroom will manifest from the trunks of oaks and other deciduous trees.  At first glance, this fungus resembles a scarlet-colored spaceship.  Upon closer inspection, however, and especially upon internal inspection, this mushroom literally looks like raw meat.

The Beefsteak Polypore is a mushroom unlike any other.  In some parts of Europe, this species is considered rare.  Here in North America, summer and autumn sightings of the Beefsteak Polypore aren’t infrequent, though they’re not incredibly common either.  The underside of this mushroom is comprised of tiny tubes that aren’t connected to one another, and the mushroom’s taste is mildly acidic… almost reminiscent of a tangy portobello mushroom.

Needless to say, the Beefsteak Polypore is one mushroom worth adding to your must-see list of 2020.

To learn more about this fascinating fungus, you can view the following video for the next few days.  This video is one of over 70 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 25th at midnight.  After May 25th, 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, please enjoy this video.

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.

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

-Adam Haritan

Foraging Wild Mushrooms — Online Course Is Open For Enrollment

Greetings,

I’m very excited to announce that Foraging Wild Mushrooms is open for enrollment for the next 7 days.

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 70 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 and features 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, May 25th 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

6 Scientifically Validated Reasons To Eat Mushrooms

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 18th.

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 18th to Monday, May 25th.  After May 25th, 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 18th and visit this link.  All additional information — including course outline and tuition — will be posted on Monday.

In the meantime, please enjoy the following video featuring 6 scientifically validated reasons to eat mushrooms.  This video is one of the lessons included in Foraging Wild Mushrooms, and while all content within the course is available only to registered students, I thought I’d share this video with you because of the pertinent information contained within it.

Thanks for reading and watching, and I hope to see you on May 18th!

-Adam Haritan

Looking to forage mushrooms this year? Here’s a good resource to get started!

Greetings,

If your experiences were anything like mine, then you received very little education on the subject of mycology in school.

Even during university-level biology classes, I distinctly remember the blatant omission of anything mushroom-related.

As luck would have it, I took this as an indication that perhaps there were ulterior motives involved — a kind of educational negligence by design.  Feeling a bit snubbed, and to fill the void, I did what any mushroom-illiterate person might do.

I joined a mushroom club.  I bought a few field guides.  And I met some people who seemed to know what they were doing.

Over the years, I continued the educational process and have spent countless hours learning from professional mycologists, ecologists, mushroom enthusiasts, obscure books, scientific articles, outdated keys, and of course… the mushrooms themselves.  Through this process, I’ve developed a deep passion for the fungal kingdom that continuously fuels my work.

Perhaps because I feel that no school curriculum in the 21st century should withhold training on place-based skills, I’ve made it part of my work to increase the availability and accessibility of this information.

A recent manifestation of this work is an introductory video that I created on the topic of mushroom collection and identification.  In the following video, I cover information that will assist you in the process of safely, confidently, and successfully foraging wild mushrooms.

You can watch the brand new video here.

 

Have you ever seen anything that looks like this?  If you have apple and eastern red-cedar trees nearby, perhaps you also live within the vicinity of this incredibly bizarre fungus.  Check out this recent Instagram post to learn more!

I had the pleasure of being a guest on the Wizard’s Corner Podcast.  In this interview, we discuss wild food nutrition, slime molds, the value of place-based skills, the ins and outs of the Learn Your Land YouTube channel, and much more.  You can listen to the interview through any of the following channels:

Thanks for reading, and thanks for your continued support!

-Adam Haritan