Archive | October, 2014

Sheep Polypore

28 Oct

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Albatrellus ovinus is a mushroom I only started eating in recent years as finding good information on it wasn’t easy, this is a mushroom which may not agree with everyone who eats it, so sample a small quantity your first time if you decide to try it. There is very little North American info on how to prepare this mushroom and the N A recipes I’ve tried in the last few days which recommended pan frying a mix of onions and spices with Sheep Polypore tasted fine only I couldn’t taste any Sheep Polypore which previously I found tasted quite good just fried in oil & butter till it is crispy. I should mention once again that Albatrellus ovinus turns yellow while cooking and the similar Albatrellus confluens doesn’t yellow though it will turn peach, both mushrooms are edible and look alike. To add a little more confusion there is also another very rare family member Albatrellus subrubescens which is similar looking and it probably should cause temporary stomach problems though I can’t find any info on what color it turns when cooked, in the few spots it has been found in Canada it appears to have some black-grey to purple-grey cap fibrils so something to keep in mind, I can’t find any records of it being found in the Maritimes but this area’s rarer species are not well known at this time, so it could easily be here in small numbers.

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Back to the (not for the novice mushroom forager), Sheep Polypore, I did find one recipe from Finland where the flavour of the mushroom still shone through, there they remove the stem of the mushroom, trim the cap into a patty shape and then cook this in a light breadcrumb batter till well done, they refer to this as a Sheep Steaks. Here in the Maritime Provinces Sheep Polypore can grow in large numbers in a variety of mixed woods so this is one of only a few good edible mushrooms still available on these near freezing days.

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If you’re still interested in this mushroom as an edible or just in knowing something new that lives close to you here are a few of the European names you may want to do a little internet research on.
Swedish: fårticka—Czech: krásnoporka mlynárka— Finnish: lampaankääpä—German: schafporling—- Norse: fåresopp

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Sheep Polypore is a commercially gathered mushroom in a few northern and also mountainous areas in the world. Here in the Maritimes it may become another nourishing food to be aware of and another good reason to be conscious of what’s going on in our forest. Locally our nature needs our awareness now. ciao

Forager’s Mobiles

14 Oct

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There are 3 different types of Highbush Cranberries in the province of New Brunswick and these ones we see dangling above my head are the best edible one in my vicinity being Viburnum trilobum which grows usually near streams and river floodplains. These berry clusters are extremely easy to gather in nature’s nursery though the processing into juice can seem lengthy unless you really enjoy getting to know your food. Each berry has one large seed and it is best to juice these berries raw after freezing them.

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Back to a view of these berries hanging gently in the sky above, what I’ll be doing with them once juiced isn’t quite clear just yet though an apple cider -Highbush cranberry mix sounds good and possibly a ginger bug Highbush soda, though these are just little thought clouds appearing amongst the clusters at this point. ciao

Fall Jack Pine understory

8 Oct

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Huckleberries plants now with red leaves makes it real easy to also notice the blue to black fruit.

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Huckleberries really show their numbers in this Jack Pine forest come fall, click on the photo to see the numerous berries.

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Hucks and Matsutakes.

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Here we see our largest Maritime woodpecker who climbs backwards down the tree trunk to get low enough to reach back for some berries. These plants are usually waist high on humans so this is the easiest way for them to pick yet they really stretch their necks to get it done.

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This Pileated Woodpecker (click on my cybershot photo my friends) seems to be on the same visiting schedule as me as we met here last week in the evening. This one chooses to stay around 100 feet from me and circles around me for 10 minutes or so. You may have noticed there has been a clearcut on both sides of this 200 foot strip of Jack Pine so many of the fruiting plants, matsutake, birds and all the rest are dealing with the changes. ciao

White Matsutake photos

4 Oct

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Large White Matsutake mushroom.

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Another view.

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A nice group photo.

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A smaller one in deep moss.

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Now out of the moss and almost into the basket. ciao

 

Swollen-stalked Cat

2 Oct

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Usually find just one collection with enough Catathelasma ventricosum for a good basket full these last few years and tonight’s gatherings maybe the best of the lot as these are very freshly emerged mushrooms with only a few breaking their cap veils.

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This mushroom is not very common in most parts of North America and gets very little press as a good edible here though the folks from the Tibet homelands and other mountainous areas of Asia would know this mushroom very well, both as an ancient medicinal and welcomed food especially in soups and stews.  This mushroom is commercially harvested and froze or dried for export from Yunnan province China. good chance you may have already eaten some of these along your path unknowingly.  ciao