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

Sacred Tree Profile: Oak’s Medicine, Magic, Mythology, and Meanings

The Druid's Garden

A glorious oak tree in fall colors! A glorious oak tree in fall colors!

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…

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November, Autumn, Fall

Good Witches Homestead

“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.”

Samhain:

“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…

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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

Sticky Toffee Acorn Bundt Cake: Nutty, Sweet & Nutritious — Gather Victoria

This moist, dense and gooey Sticky Toffee Acorn Cake was made from acorns harvested from my neighbourhood. And despite the nearly full day it took to create (from harvesting, shelling, leaching, roasting and grinding – to the actual baking) it was well worth the effort! It took first prize in a most wonderful old-fashioned community harvest…

via Sticky Toffee Acorn Bundt Cake: Nutty, Sweet & Nutritious — Gather Victoria

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

Food as Medicine: Cherry (Prunus avium and P. cerasus, Rosaceae)

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Take advantage of the fleeting cherry season to explore the fruit’s sweet side, sour side, and beneficial side. Due to their anti-inflammatory properties, cherry fruit and cherry bark have been used to treat and support a wide variety of chronic inflammatory conditions. In addition, the fruit’s rich phenolic compound content has been studied for their potential benefits for sleep disorders, exercise recovery, and cognitive function.

Known for both their ornamental beauty and sweet and tart fruits, cherry (Prunus spp.) trees are among the 3,400 species that belong to the economically important rose (Rosaceae) family. This botanical family also includes other fruit-bearing trees such as apples (Malus spp.) and pears (Pyrus spp.), as well as herbaceous perennials like strawberries (Fragaria spp.) and brambles like blackberries (Rubus spp.) and raspberries (Rubus spp.).1

Cherry fruits are produced by various trees…

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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