Tag Archives: chaga mushroom

Chaga Mushrooms 2017

7 Jan

A phone post on some of the chaga mushrooms I’m seeing in this new year and also other wintery sights of interest from our Maritime forests. The above photo reminds me of a hidden puzzle game or a piece of art you can’t stop staring at it. 

Ice pans or ice disc, first time I witness these around here. I’ve read they can on occasion be quite large, these little ones stayed spinning around this pool for sometime, made for a good rest spot after leaving the birch woods, this was a few days ago and below we get to zone in on how you can usually tell from several hundred feet if a chaga mushroom is a good size for gathering.


 If from afar you see a snow cap on a dark hump on a tree trunk in a hardwood forest with lots of birch in the mix then this calls for a closer look, real simple. Here we see one near the center right of above photo.


Ah, this chaga horn appears to be not too high up the tree. I can chop it at eye level, notice the smaller one close by.

Looking down hill into the valley and mountain across, this chaga harvesting is quite pleasant.

I’m surprised this photo is not more blurry as my out stretched arm was trembling from the weight while I was trying to hold and take this phone photo with the other hand. The pains I will go through to show off my 2017 chaga.

Anyway, now back home it is fresh chaga and matsutake, rosehip tea time. Cheers

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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

Trees worth barking about

25 May

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Looking down this steep hillside I could see a good sized birch with a nice chaga horn and even larger chaga mushrooms at the bottom of the trunk, so down I gradually slide to the tree.  The chaga horn ended up being well out of reach, probably 12 feet up, so the ones level with my belly were the best options.

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I decided to harvest the top section of this lower trunk Chaga mushroom which kind of resembles an elephant and weighed 8 lbs, so this will last a while at a tbsp of chaga per 2 or 3 cups of water. This tree has only a few branches  producing leaves so this chaga is near the end of its most potent years if not harvested.

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Earlier in the day no positional thoughts came to mind when I walked through this floodplain which was under several feet of water just 2 weeks ago. Long strips of bark lay beneath this tree, an unusual sight.

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Yes this is the same neighbourhood where beaver’s  been chomping down poplars. ciao

Fiddleheads, fireweed and wintercress

18 May

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Back to a small stream I noticed some nice Chaga mushrooms near a few weeks ago and today the ostrich fern fiddleheads on the stream bank were  a good size for gathering.

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Fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium) is another plant which may be at its tastiest when it is just barely visible. If you are interested in this plant’s shoots and live in the Maritimes note the location of the large beds of showy flowers in July and much later return for the spring shoots usually in early May.

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In grassy areas these small Fireweed shoots are a good challenge to see.

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Here are a couple of Wintercress plants (Barbarea vulgaris), these leaves are a bit chewed up and probably survived under the snow from Dec to May. These plants look like they could bolt any second now and should be showing some yellow flowers on foot long stalks by early June. Some consider the stalk and unopened buds of wintercress its best edible parts.

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More healthy looking birch trees with prime chaga mushrooms around this small stream, another hot spot. ciao

Maritime spring colors

4 May

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small round leafed salicornia sprouts and a few other salt marsh annuals under last year’s salicornia stems. You will need to click on the photo to notice the tiny salicornia sprouts

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Not much greenery around the Phragmites though tan and light brown look good as well.

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Way over my head in last summer’s Phragmites stems, some of these are 10 ft plus, this plant is one I  will be visiting a few times this spring and summer to explore its edible parts.

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Leaving the marsh for higher ground a groundhog appears cooperative for a photo.

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Inland a few miles along a small stream we see a few ostrich fern fiddleheads taking off their copper colored spring coats on this warm day.

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Orpine is also popping up on the stream’s floodplain.

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A small trip to remember especially with this huge chaga mushroom and pleasant view on the way back through the forest.  This chaga looks to be around 8 lbs and the birch tree it is on is still in good shape with plenty of new buds on its branches, this mushroom is one I may return for in a winter or 2. ciao

 

 

 

 

 

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

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.

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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 and shelving tooth

22 Mar

Last evening I was out foraging for some wild Enoki mushrooms (Flammulina velutipes) when I noticed this very large group of Shelving tooth (climacodon septentrionale) as I approached a hundred feet closer I was pleasantly surprised to find a nice Chaga mushroom (Inonotus Obliquus) on the next tree beside it as my Chaga supply is getting a little low. You may need to click on the photo to see the Chaga.

This Shelving tooth was in exceptional shape as it would have come to fruit last Sept or Oct, so it hung in valiantly throughout the winter.

Here is the under side of the shelving tooth, some folks also call this mushroom Northern tooth, notice the teeth instead of gills or pores.

Here is the Chaga mushroom up close.

Here is the Chaga trimmed up and ready to be chopped and taken home for slicing and drying.

My boot is a size 12 so this Chaga is around 10 inches by  six inches across, probably weighs 3 lbs before drying. If you have health issues take my advise, do some internet research on Chaga, I’m not selling it here, lots of folks are doing so on Ebay check it out. Look for a supplier who only harvest Chaga from living birches which produce leaves during the growing season.

Today we had record temperatures over 77 degrees with the day starting off around 40 degrees, a bit warm for maple sugar weather for the folks a mile down the road from the chaga and the boot, though many were out enjoying a taste at the sugar camp. cheers for now

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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