August (and Blackberry Jam)

Wylde and Green

Isn’t August the strangest of months? One day you are in the middle of summer and then the next the edges of the Autumn are creeping all around. It is a wonderfully golden month…so full of life with fruit and vegetables ripening on every branch and the fields still blazing in the late summer sunshine.

Nature has shifted from growth to ripening, and everything feels ‘full’.

If you look at the trees, you can just see the little hints of gold creeping in, it is a beautiful month, but it reminds us that we cannot keep the summer, or indeed the fruits ripe on the trees – I love the below Seamus Heaney Poem. It’s perfect for August.

What we can keep though, is as much of Augusts harvests as we are able. So, here is a simple recipe for Blackberry Jam and a hope you find the time to…

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Staghorn Sumac Sugar Fritters — Gather Victoria

A Bunyol is a Spanish Sugared fritter, so these are Staghorn Sumac Sugar Bunyols. Imagine a warm doughnut (without the hole) rolled in a silky lemony tasting icing sugar and you’ve got the idea. A bunyol (or buñuelo) is a small yeasty bun traditionally enjoyed in Spain on All Saints Day (Nov.1st) which is dedicated to the memory of the…

via Staghorn Sumac Sugar Fritters — Gather Victoria

Botanizing Along The Pennsylvania Turnpike (New video!)

Greetings!

First, I’d like to say “thanks!” to everyone who registered for the upcoming Midwest Wild Harvest Festival in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin.  The event has officially sold out, though if you’re looking for additional opportunities to learn foraging (specifically mushroom foraging), look no further than the annual Gary Lincoff Memorial Foray on September 21st in Pittsburgh.

Tickets are still available for this latter event in which I, along with Bill Russell (author of Field Guide to Wild Mushrooms of Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic) and Rick Kerrigan (the foremost authority on North American Agaricus mushrooms) will be presenting during the afternoon lecture sessions.

And now on to this week’s brand new video!

I get the feeling that most people wouldn’t consider major highways to be prime habitats for botanical exploration.  Interestingly, however, areas that are perpetually kept in an early stage of ecological succession — especially areas that receive ample amounts of sunlight — can harbor incredible numbers of plant species.

Such is the case with the Pennsylvania Turnpike — a 360+ mile highway that traverses the entire state.

I recently spent some time exploring an area alongside the Pennsylvania Turnpike in search of native plants that thrive during the warmest weeks of the year.  And of course, I decided to film the experience.

If you’re interested in seeing what it’s like to botanize along the Pennsylvania Turnpike in mid-August, check out the brand new video!

 

 

Bad hair day or fungal overgrowth?  Unfortunately for this spider engulfed in mycelium, things aren’t looking too good.  Have you ever seen something like this in your neck of the woods?  Check out this Instagram post to learn more!

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

-Adam Haritan

Foraging Wild Foods & Medicinal Herbs

Your Guide to Sustainably Gathering Wild Edibles and Herbs:

Tools, Tips, Recipes, and Wildcrafting Safety

Calling all foragers!

Are you intrigued by the idea of gathering abundant wild edibles and weedy medicinal plants?

We’ve stocked up all the resources you need to begin your foraging adventures safely and wisely. Tools, field guides, harvesting ethics, and a primer on sustainable wildcrafting are all requisite. Browse our library of resources to start foraging on the right foot!

Grab your baskets, and let’s go!

Via Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine:  Foraging Wild Foods & Medicinal Herbs

10 Wild Summer Mushrooms — Polypores, Boletes, Gilled Fungi, & More!

 

Greetings!

This summer season has been full of programs, traveling, turnpike tolls, ticks, and of course… mushrooms!  A big “thank you!” goes out to everyone who has attended a recent event in which I’ve led a walk or have given a presentation.

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be participating in two upcoming events this September.  On Saturday, September 21st, the Western Pennsylvania Mushroom Club is hosting its annual Gary Lincoff Memorial Foray.  I, along with Bill Russell (author of Field Guide to Wild Mushrooms of Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic) and Rick Kerrigan (the foremost authority on North American Agaricus mushrooms) will be presenting during the afternoon lecture sessions.

Also, I’ll be leading mushroom programs at the annual Midwest Wild Harvest Festival in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin from September 27th-29th.  Additional instructors for this year’s festival include Samuel Thayer, Ellen Zachos, Leda Meredith, and Erica Davis.

More events are forthcoming.  Stay tuned!

And now on to this week’s brand new video!

One of the benefits of traveling during the summer season is seeing, documenting, and filming different kinds of fungi that grow in varied habitats.

Over the past several weeks, I’ve been physically in the presence of hundreds of mushrooms (over 400 species just this past weekend alone!) and I’ve enjoyed immensely their unique shapes, sizes, smells, and spores.

For this week’s video, I thought I’d narrow down the list a bit and showcase some of the more fascinating fungi that I’ve recently encountered.

If you’re interested in learning a few neat things about 10 different mushrooms (all of which may be growing in your neck of the woods!), check out the brand new video!

 

 

Even during dry periods, a hardy group of mushrooms can reliably be found.  Pictured here is one such species that fruits in seemingly fungally-barren woods during the summer and autumn months.  Check out this Instagram post to learn more!

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

-Adam Haritan

A Forest Grown Future for Pennsylvania’s Precious Ginseng — Good Witches Homestead

In Pennsylvania’s lush, green Appalachian foothills, our North American ginseng thrives. It’s here in these undulating woodlands that Randy has tended our certified organic and forest grown ginseng for more than 30 years. “There are very few people who are cultivating the plant in its wild habitat,” said Jennifer, Mountain Rose Herbs’ Chief Operations Officer. “It’s a […]

via A Forest Grown Future for Pennsylvania’s Precious Ginseng — Good Witches Homestead

Strange Oysters & Other Summer Mushrooms (New Video!)

Greetings!

First, I want to say “thank you!” to every person who has attended one of my foraging programs this year.  One of the best parts of traveling to new areas is meeting and spending time with an incredible number of wonderful people who are thrilled to learn new plants and mushrooms.  I’ve had a blast so far this year hopping around different states and I certainly don’t plan on stopping any time soon!

As a reminder, I’ll be participating in the West Virginia Mushroom Foray from July 19th through the 21st at Blackwater Falls State Park in Davis, West Virginia.  While my Friday morning walk has already filled to max capacity, I’ll be offering a presentation on Saturday for all participants.

Additional instructors this year include such notable authors as Arleen Bessette, Walt Sturgeon, and John Plischke III.

You can learn more about the event by clicking here!

And now on to this week’s brand new video!

Fungally speaking, summer is off to a fruitful start. The ample rains and warmer temperatures have been very conducive to fungal activity here in the Northeast, and if similar conditions persist, 2019 could be a banner year for many summer mushroom species.

While on a recent walk through a local wooded area, I encountered quite an array of mushrooms — some edible, some not so edible, but all fascinating in their own right.

One species in particular caught my eye because of its close resemblance to oyster mushrooms, and upon closer inspection, its true identity was revealed to me.

Have you ever seen a mushroom that looks like this?  Would you consider it to be an oyster mushroom or something else?

Check out the new video to learn more!

Amongst thunderstorms, cloudy skies, and rainbows, this beautiful mushroom contributes significantly to the array of phenomena that characterize the early summer season. Few mushrooms are as photogenic as this one, and if you’d like to learn who this unique fungus is, check out the recent Instagram post!

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

-Adam Haritan

June Flower, The Rose.

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Chloris, the Greek Goddess of flowers, crowned the rose queen of all flowers, a title that the rose deserves today as much as it did in the Golden Age of Greece. Not only is the rose of unparalleled beauty, but it has also proved itself to be useful in a hundred different ways. It has been prized for its medicinal value, cherished for its sweet scent, and appreciated for its delicate flavor.

chloris greek goddess

The legend of the origin of the rose is from the days of the Roman Empire. The story is told of Rhodanthe, a woman of such exquisite beauty that she had many, many suitors. She showed little interest in any of them and sought refuge in the “Temple of Diana.” Her suitors were persistent, however, and followed her there, breaking down the gates to get close to her. Diana became incensed at this and turned Rhodanthe into a…

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Sonoran Sweetness: A Gathering

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

The cherished time of year in the Sonoran desert is now upon us.  While the desert heats up to temperatures above 110 F, many run for cooler, moister climes and foreign visitors are scorched in a short time.  This heat is necessary, it is a natural process inherent in our desert’s ecology.  To eliminate it in some way would be to lose one of the greatest gifts this desert has to offer us.  Without the intense heat, the fruit of our Saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea) would not mature properly.  Not many people today know the characteristic sweet taste of the fruit of the Saguaro cactus, known as bahidaj in the Tohono O’odham (native peoples of the Sonoran desert region) language.  It is the O’odham people (often referred to as Papago) who have preserved the knowledge on how to prepare such things as Saguaro syrup (bahidaj sitol), Saguaro jelly…

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And The Award For June’s Most Bizarre Fungus Goes To…

Greetings!

Before I share a brand new video with you, I wanted to let you know that I’ll be presenting and leading a foraging walk at the annual West Virginia Mushroom Foray.

This upcoming event will take place from July 19th through the 21st at the beautiful Blackwater Falls State Park in Davis, West Virginia, and the lineup of instructors this year includes such notable mycophiles as Arleen Bessette, Walt Sturgeon, and John Plischke III.

You can learn more about the event by clicking here!

And now on to this week’s brand new video!

It’s not every day that you get to see a fungus that appears once every 17 years in your neck of the woods.  Such is the case with a fungal species that targets periodical cicadas.

Over the past few weeks, periodical cicadas have been emerging in parts of western Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio, and the northern panhandle of West Virginia.  Associated with the appearance of these cicadas is an incredibly fascinating fungus that destroys the genitals and alters the behaviors of these ephemeral insects.

Needless to say, this pathogenic species is highly deserving of the title “June’s Most Bizarre Fungus,” and if you’re interested in learning more about its relationship with our beloved cicadas, check out the brand new video!

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

-Adam Haritan