Tag Archives: foraging NB

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

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

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.

Mountain Ash

9 Dec

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I haven’t tried making anything with Mountain Ash berries for several years now, last attempt was a marmalade which I didn’t enjoy much. Seeing this snow covered tree has kind of rekindled my interest in these berries and this photo will be entered in my wild fruit page with a summer view of another type of Mountain Ash as we have many different types here in the Maritimes and to be fair to this fruit I really should start tasting the (cooked) fruits from several varieties as some of our friends in NFLD found out long ago when they discovered a sweet one they favor for gathering.

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Maybe I’ll try making a beverage with ginger this time around as I’ve seen recipes for jams with ginger and citrus fruit combos, ideally an early harvest would provide a less mushy berry, but now is always the right time if you missed the best time. he he

Tricholoma dulciolens

11 Oct

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A few pics of T dulciolens which was my long skinny version of Matsutake for many a year.

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Currently there is a question on whether these mushrooms have been exported from one of the Nordic countries to Japan as a Matsutake type produce, as Henrik in his comments below and other sources point out Tricholoma dulciolens is very rare in Scandinavia and probably in Finland as well so still curious on the link I added in comments below which makes the claim of T dulciolens being an imported item in Japan. I guess the good news for us folks here in the Maritimes is our mature spruce in a few different soil types usually in our near wetlands do produce some of these mushrooms, though here as well they seem a mushroom which would not be near common enough for a commercial harvest at least from what I have investigated thus far.

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Usually when gathering you will only see the caps and then it is time to gently lift in agreement with the stem’s underground angle, notice a few are left as they are, very unwise to attempt to take all of anything.

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In the deep moss there may be some of these and also the Matsutake below the green surface so walk soft, don’t walk directly to the mushroom you see, plan a path of least disturbance, all foods deserve our respect and this group almost seem to demand all your senses be fully awake and in tune.

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Added photos of rare Maritime Lyophyllum  _____? in spruce forest

Bunchberries, the fastest slow food

8 Sep

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A few pics and a couple links to some interesting stuff on a like known ground growing fruit, common throughout most of Canada, bunchberries – Cornus Canadensis.

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The large seed in each drupe is the main reason this is not a popular fruit in this country today where we have many different types of berries which are much easier to eat in a social setting though bunchberries do have their charm, one is you can pick a large amount in no time, they also stay in good shape to pick for several weeks if not months.

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The berries which I gathered here in the pics made a rather nice sauce, 8 cups of berries brought to a boil with a bit of water then simmered , seeds strained out, it takes some time to work the pulp away from the seeds but in the end with some sugar and cinnamon it turned into a smoky thick grape colored sauce.

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The sauce quite tasty, but the most interesting thing I found was the soothing feeling I noticed on the mouth and throat, never experienced this in a sauce before, so something healthy in that pulp I suspect.  I also tried squeezing the pulp of the raw fruit, dripping it through a strainer to test if it would jell up some as I was hoping to dry it after jelling to use as a dry fruit candy but that didn’t pan out at all – as the pulp was in to small amounts per work and it stayed to liquidity.

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Here is a photo of a bunchberry flower I took early on when I started this blog a few years ago and a couple links to some info on this older than the hills, little eaten today, fast moving smoothie. http://www.williams.edu/go/explodingflower

and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFR17bX0noI

 

Russula mustelina, maybe

10 Aug

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As a group the Russula mushrooms are extremely difficult for foragers and mycologist to identify other than for a few standouts, so field characteristics and spore stuff equally tough to figure out, the red capped Russula mushrooms may have over 100 species to choose from. Usually unless I’m 100% sure of the ID I won’t try a new mushroom for the table but Russula mushrooms are the exception as without any deadly poisonous mushrooms in my area you can experiment with this group a tiny bit. All the mushroom photos on this post are the same mushroom type at different stages of growth.

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I started with this brown capped Russula last year as it is the most common Russula growing in the conifer forest I also gather my Chanterelle mushrooms in. The starting point for doing this is to be able to clearly know if you are picking a Russula mushroom, if you have any doubts do not try what I mention next. After getting some sound advise from a well seasoned forager on the rules for dealing with Russulas I decided to give it a go.

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In my area there are probably around 10 different brownish Russula, I was already familiar with 2 of these mushrooms as for decades I would often smell the (not to be eaten) almond scented Russula which appears in good numbers in many Maritimes mixed forest and the very common Russula compacta which smells of fish oil and blackens with age, although edible R compacta has a reputation of not agreeing with everyone so that is a good enough reason to leave it off my list.

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So with 2 brown Russula mushrooms off my edible list it was time to try at least one of the other common ones and to do this all I had to do was take a small piece of the raw mushroom and chew it for awhile, if my mouth gets hot or the taste is unpleasant I probably have found a Russula mushroom I would not want to eat, also I should add to spit out the piece you have chewed and it is probably best not to swallow while chewing even if you have found a nice nutty flavoured Russula, so if good fortune had come your way and the taste was mild during your sampling you will have found a safe Russula for cooking and the ones in these photos are one of the many very good edible mushrooms in the Russula family.

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Once you do find a good edible Russula you probably don’t want to taste it raw ever time you gather one so next it is prudent to get familiar with its characteristics in all stages of growth. This one I suspect is R mustelina which has some traits which are quite consistent, (1) bugs do not invade even mature mushroom stem which is rare for Russula mushrooms. (2) stem is deep in soil which is rare. (3) stem is long and often is bulgy which is rare. (4) stem firm, when mature still firm but will hollow or is softening in inner core. (5) cap color is dark brown usually with some yellow shades. (6) Cap when young is sticky and usually will hold some dirt on it, it will become dry as it flattens in maturity. (7) cap peels very easily at least halfway to center. (8) little scent. (9) When cap flattens at maturity there will be brown stains midway on the gills. (10) gills firm when young, crumbly brittle when mature. (11) Mature mushroom stains brown on stem and gills, but do not blacken. (12) taste always mild. (13) In groups under conifers starting close to 1000 ft above sea level. (14) One of the first Russula mushrooms to appear in the summer in New Brunswick. If you are familiar with Russula mushrooms you will notice this one is quite unique when you add these points up.

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One thing I didn’t find was much N.A information on folks eating this mushroom here. In Europe it seems it is enjoyed by some folks in the mountainous areas of Spain, France and Italy with some considering it an excellent edible. It has a common name in those countries which is the weasel mushroom, but I should mention again I just eat this mushroom and officially do not know its name other than it is definitely a brown capped Russula which matches up well with info I have on R mustelina, with most other wild mushroom families this type of experimenting would be dangerous so even with the Russula mushrooms this is something you should never try unless you are a very experienced wild mushroom forager and are receiving expert advise along the way. ciao