Maritime Lobster Mushrooms

14 Aug

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Lobster Mushrooms are out in good numbers in the Maritimes now, so check out my catch of the day.

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This one is rather smooth with not much sign of gill ridges.

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I find most of my Lobster Mushroom usually near mature Eastern White Pine and an area with mixed woods with large Poplar trees can be prime spots to have a look also.

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These 3 photos show the weight divisions Lobster Mushrooms often fall into with the 1st photo 1/4 lb, 2nd 1/2 lb and last one weighed 1lb.

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The closest Lobster Mushrooms appears slightly over mature but look around as often there will be plenty of good ones near by, the white powder visible on the gill surface is not mold it is actually spores so this is not a sign the mushroom is not still good to eat. Two things to check concerning whether a Lobster Mushroom is still in good shape for eating is a light to slightly darker orange color, nothing in the red to purple range and when you squeeze the stem at ground level it is very firm. If there are soft spots or brown colored areas somewhere on the mushroom above the firm stem just cut them out and you should still have plenty of choice mushroom left.

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Here is what was in a 25 foot area of the above photo.

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Back home with a basketful of goodies which will soon be processed into a yummy Lobster Mushroom marinate thanks to Hank Shaw’s website honest-food.net › 2016 › July › 18

Ciao

August Maritime Mushrooms

1 Aug

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Here I am going into a Chanterelle patch.

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Exiting the Chanty patch I turn around to see lots of orange untouched mushrooms on the ground where I’ve passed. Gently tip toeing through and reaching out is important to disturb the moss as little as possible, also leave plenty of mature and small mushrooms. This will benefit you for decades down the road as long as the forest isn’t harvested.

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Next a nice Lobster Mushroom.

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For adventurist Maritime mycophile there seems to be lots of Albatrellopsis confluens out in forest today. In Europe this mushroom is eaten but rated far lower than its common look alike Sheep Polypore. Some folks in Colorado on the other hand claim Albatrellopsis confluens is better than Sheep Polypore as an edible. I find Sheep Polypore is hard to beat though I’m going to give this A confluens another chance to sway me over.

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If you are interested in trying this sometimes common Maritime mushroom you must only sample a few bites the first time which is recommended for any new wild food and make sure you thinly slice and cook at medium heat for over 10 minutes.  The mushroom should turn pinkish while cooking, if it turns lemon yellow it will be a Sheep Polypore. Click on the 2nd photo to notice the smooth pore surface with tiny pin holes, this mushroom often bruises pink or light orange when handled. These are large mushrooms you will notice from afar.

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August shades of the colourful Russula mushrooms, these ones shown here are from mixed and conifer forest as I passed through both on my mile or so of foraging today. I won’t get into the edibility of the Russula mushrooms I’ve shown you here as I can’t even identify some of them, there are over a 100 different reddish Russula along so you can understand my dilemma, nevertheless Russula mushroom as a rule are one of the safer edible groups though there are a few very hot tasting ones you do not want chew on and a few which bruise black which people have had short term stomach issues with, of course seeing these lovely life forms is every bit as pleasant as the food some of them safely provide, with that in mind I hope you’re enjoying all the colors of your local August forest where ever you are. ciao

Awaken to a Chanterelle dream

27 Jul

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This photo was so magically hazy I had to find away to place it in the post. A few hundred chanterelle on this steep hillside made for some pleasant shady picking. Click on the photo to see all the little orange ones all over the place.

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A closer Chanterelle look but still a little groggy.

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Now in this Maritime dreamland there are more than just Chanterelles as here we see a bolete in the King Bolete clan.

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Check the bottom of the stem to see if it is still solid and no significant worm holes and this one as you can see is in good shape for eating.

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I’ve found this mushrooms conifer cousin before on mature eastern hemlock but here is my first run in with Chicken of the Woods, Laetiporus sulphureus which you will only find on hardwoods, usually the uncommon red oak in my area, unfortunately.

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Some may have a reaction to Laetiporus so start with a small amount the first time out. This is day 2 for me with this mushroom as an edible and really enjoyed it cooked in butter then made into a sandwich with lettuce and mayo, the initial try was a piece the size of a dried apricot sliced in 1/4″ strips and fried in olive oil for 10 minutes which was over cooked but I could see potential. So concludes this dreamy Maritime mushroomy post. ciao

Inland from the sea sand

4 Jul

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The ocean’s voice accompanied by shorebirds can still be heard as I leave the beach and head into a flat marshy area to forage where a wide variety of plants can be gathered for food and medicinal usage. Just in the above photo we see a few different mustards, peas and Goosefoot family members which are excellent tasting nutritional foods, some though need to be eaten in moderation and require special preparation. Today I’ll just mention a few of my favorites.

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Here is a view above the bank showing a large bed of Beach pea – Lathyrus japonicus.

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Not far away where there is visible sand we see some Silverweed – Potentilla anserina.

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Seabeach Sandwort – Honkenya peploides is a nice edible which can be eaten raw cut into bite size pieces and also stir fried with other veggies. This plant usually grounds close to shore or where there is bare sand often in small mounds 3 to 4 feet across, it belongs to the Pink Family which also includes Chickweed. If you are lucky enough to find the earliest stems you will taste a salty & juicy morsel which looks like giant bean sprouts, once the straight stem sections turn yellowish brown the stems will be to woody and dry to eat, the ones in photos haven’t flowered yet and with some rain would remain edible for several weeks.

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Sea Rocket – Cakile edentula also goes well in salads when cut in tiny pieces, larger pieces for stir fries, it is a bold salty mustard. This plant is often dominate in flat sandy areas along the coast.

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I’ll leave you with this photo which showcase the wide openness of this type of foraging area which are very pleasant to be in on a breezy summer day. ciao

 

Apios, the riverbank dangler

29 Jun

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I’ve shown photos of the flowers of Apios americana from my backyard many times on the blog though the tubers rarely have been given a chance to shine so with the floods waters gone and the riverbank visible here we see the easiest way to locate where groundnuts usually grow in good numbers though they rarely flower or have much leaf growth.

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Often there will be many strung together on a line.

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More a few feet a way.

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Apios americana is known to grow larger tubers where it can mingle amongst other roots in moist soil. I find it both flowers and tubers well with daylilies. A photo of flowers in August and today a fresh tuber the size of a medium potato. Groundnut was a popular food for thousands of years in Eastern North American, there are many online sites which can tell you about its history, nutrition value and other interesting stuff. One thing I find interesting is it is a food you can gather anytime the ground isn’t frozen or you may even gather them then if the riverbank still has some danglers.

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Here is what I may gather soon unless I stumble upon something else that draws my attention. Here we see elderberry very close to flowering and also wild radish pods, these little ones here tasted quite good. ciao

Good Green Tidings

5 Jun

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A view of a sluice with the tide on the rise, I’ll walk along the edge of the salt marsh till the waters sway me dykeward.

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Here is the plant I’d like to show you today, Ligusticum scoticum (Scotch Lovage). They are recently making somewhat of a comeback as a food of interest.

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These plants seem to like it midway up these small dykes, the salt water will almost reach them by the looks of things today.

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Another photo from where the view of the sluice took place, here the sluice only appears to be gone and soon it will only appear to back, it is amazing what can appear to happen when you pick a few greens by the shore. ciao

Jack Pine Pollen Cones

21 May

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This is a new wild edible to me, one I’m quite interested in using in small quantities on a regular bases if it is agreeable to my body. Pine pollen allergies are uncommon though any new food needs to be gently introduced.

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The first 2 photos are of very young male Jack Pine pollen cones, these were tiny with a red tint and I suspect a bit too young to gather.

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The next 2 photos have slightly larger green cones and I’ll likely gather some similar to these this long weekend. I tried a sample of 4 little green cone balls and found them quite pleasant today so good reason to pursue on in this pine pollen cone adventure.

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Once they turn more yellowish and become softer I’ll gather a good supply hopefully just prior to their pollen release.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzPedLPxwY8

Above are 2 embedded videos showing some interesting info on Pine Pollen by Arthur Haines from Maine, he chose Eastern White Pine for harvesting which is also available here in New Brunswick though at this point I’m finding Jack Pine even the young trees in open areas have ample easy to gather cones so these will be my first choice of Pine trees to start out with. If you’re a pine pollen cone gatherer and have some tips to share, please do. ciao

Good Old Maritime Fiddleheads

15 May

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The early spring growth of Matteuccia struthiopteris (Ostrich Fern) is by far the Maritimes most famous green wild food and I’m decided today to share with you why I enjoy seeing them in nature more than eating them at the table. Click on the photos to visit up close where Ostrich Fern fiddleheads have grow most comfortably for thousands of years here in Maritimes.

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ciao, off for more fiddling.

Marsh Woundwort

15 May

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Of course as the day began I had no intention of gathering a few of these very early to appear Stachys palustris (Marsh Woundwort) which I will transplant into my garden near some stinging nettle. The plants will produce plenty of tubers similar to what you see here by this Fall. These were gathered by just poking my fingers into the soil and feeling for the tubers if they were close by, I was actual looking for wild mushrooms today though these and a few other plants stole the show as I walked in the meadow and floodplain along the river including burdock, yellow nut-sedge and  the Maritime wild food favorite fiddleheads which I’ll also display in another short post today.

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Here is a plant growing from a small tuber running flat a 1/2 inch under the soil, also the tubers can run straight down. I planted one of these Marsh Woundwort tubers in a large pot a few years back and was pleasantly surprised with the numbers of long thin tubers and also rhizomes it produced.

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Come the fall the new tubers can be eaten raw or cooked in numerous ways, a very tasty food not often gathered in most of its range.

Chaga in a winter hinterland

1 Jan

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Way back in the last days of 2015 I decided to go and harvest my winter chaga before the snow became to deep on a cool -12 C afternoon. It has been cold enough lately so all the main medicinal properties should be locked in tight in this chaga mushroom. With only 5 inches of snow on the ground this was quite easy walking through thick mostly conifers only 100 meters off a path to this paper birch tree which I found in the summer, at that time this tree was able to produce leaves in some of the top branches so the medicinal flow through the tree trunk is still fresh.

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Summer view (July 24/2015) of same chaga mushroom.

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A photo capturing some of the snowiness of the day.

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Something new as I made a phone video which I thought I could upload directly here at wordpress but that turned into quite an adventure ending with me joining Yahoo-Flickr to stage any clips I’d like to embed here on this blog. I learnt a few little things along the way, like how to hold the phone on my next attempt, anyway a glitch or 2 in uploading but not to bad for a first try. ciao

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