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Look up Chaga

15 Sep

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Looking ahead this may be the Chaga mushroom I collect in 2015 if things go well, the tree is still sturdy and producing plenty of leaves.

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Now for today my Chaga supply is low and the Chaga mushroom on the right side of this tree looks big enough to supply me with tea for a year or so.

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Chaga close up.

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Here is part of what I’m talking about when I say — look up Chaga. You want to select a birch tree which is still healthy and able to produce leaves so here we are beneath the Chaga horn looking up the birch trunk in search for branches with leaves which are nicely in place on this tree.

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One of the easiest way to remove your Chaga from the birch tree is with a hatch, I have an oldie here from the 1950s.

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The best time to slice your freshly gathered Chaga is shortly after you bring it home, a heavy duty knife will glide through the Chaga much easier at this point then in a few days.

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Some of the pieces in this one are quite marbled.

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Here is a Chaga mushroom video I recommend for you by Arthur Haines, check it out. ciao  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=liMo7Q_U-YA

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Movember mushrooms

15 Nov

I’m not associated with the Movember campaign but it is drawing a lot of attention towards men’s health this month and tonight I would like to draw a little attention to some wild mushroom which may make a big difference in men’s and women’s health now and in the future.

I didn’t need to convince my young friend to dress up to help bring a little Movember awareness with a loud and wild oyster mushroom moustache and cap as he has already seen some things on TV concerning Movember moustaches and men’s health. Here tonight I am focusing on a few of my favorite wild mushrooms I use as food, teas and spices on a regular bases and are safe and powerful medicinals as well. These mushrooms are well worth doing a little internet research on.

Turkey tail

Interestingly enough some of the best medicinal mushrooms for good  prostate health happen to be growing wild in temperature regions in much of the northern hemisphere during November. Including –wild oyster mushroom, turkey tail, velvet foot and chaga.

velvet foot

Chaga for all round good mental and physical health.

Hen of the woods (maitake), another medicinal all-star which usually appears in September under oak trees.

There are plenty of other healthy local wild foods as well, enjoy the best nature so willingly gives itself. These are good, I’m not eating these just for my health you know. ciao

Chaga helps handle things

14 Oct

There are probably many very useful adaptogens available in nature to help folks regulate their metabolism no matter where you live in this world.  Chaga has been exceptionally beneficial in my particular case so naturally I will mention this fungus as the opportunities arising.  Since I supply a few folks I usually gather 3 to 5 chaga per year depending on the size of them which ranges between 1 to 10 lbs and I enjoy collecting them in different areas I happen to be travelling in, which these photos today are from Colchester County NS as I was returning from a (NS Mycological society) mushroom walk held at Victoria Park, Truro NS. This area was an excellent spot for an afternoon walk and plenty of interesting folks & a great variety of fall mushrooms as well.

I was rather fortunate as the area I decided to stop at on my return trip was a hillside of primarily birches with both yellow and white birch there. I walked around for 5 minutes then started see a few trees with some small chaga on them and then this chaga with a handle on it, which made for easy harvesting and carrying and I though of  chaga’s ability to help folks handle the different body stressers due to the adaptogenic properties present. If you have a few hours some day to check out some of the info on the net for the medicinal properties of chaga mushroom and if you live in an area where birch trees grow you are very likely to be able to gather your own supply of the fascinating mushroom for a great medicinal tea. cheers

Chaga mushroom appears good to me

16 Jan

Chaga mushroom tea (Inonotus obliquus) is a welcomed visitor on the ever shifting river me, as it trickles and meanders through the various passages attracted to the most acidic particles on the shores and in the murkier pools diligently driven into various always present new forms. I’ve never found info on the complete life cycle of chaga, it can’t be grown commercially, the fertile assumed spore producing stage is a mystery. The mycelium appears in a variety of different tree trunks and the (sterile conk) known as  the chaga mushroom normally is seen on wounds on the trunk, the best medicinal properties are alleged to come from chagas growing on birch trees, I gather them from only (paper and yellow birches) which are still alive enough to produce leaves during the growing season and usually collect my chaga for the year during the coldest days of winter.

The mycelium which produce chaga will at the same time be shortening the life cycle of the tree it inhabits, so in the illusion — one things disease is another things cure.  I’ve been drinking chaga tea for a few years now and have to spread the word on this, though please harvest this respectfully.  I usually drink 4 or 5 cups per week and harvest approximately 10 lbs per year, this is plenty for myself and a few others I share with. I usually during the summer months while gathering other gifts choose a tree or 2 to revisit later on. In the colder northern areas this is one of the few items we can gather at this time of the year, as shown in one of the pictures in the (chaga page),  we have a little bit of snow mostly in Jan and Feb plus today we had a wind chill factor of -28 degrees, I’m not going to go into all the details on the medicinal properties here, I will list below words to search under if you are interested in learning more. Oh I believe the FDA has it listed as safe as a food or food coloring though I didn’t look this up recently, so check for yourself. It has been used as a table tea in areas of Siberia for century’s. It taste pretty good though I usually mix in a few other herbs and fruits, once prepared you can drink it hot or cold. I also boil rice in the tea occasionally. There are numerous whys to prepare the tea, I’ve tried many but today go with the easiest methods which produce great results, so keep it simple. (Click on enlarge the pics in the chaga page next to the image page above right for some close-ups on some of the different shapes of chage) They can range from 1/4 to 10 lbs. If you have any questions, enter a comment, I may have some info specific to your interest.

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