Tag Archives: medicinal mushrooms

Chaga in a winter hinterland

1 Jan


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.


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


A photo capturing some of the snowiness of the day.


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


December mushrooms

13 Dec


Above are some Flammunila velupites mushrooms growing out of the cracks on this large Elm tree. These wild Flammulina velupites look a little different than the commercially grown small white Enoki mushrooms many folks are familiar with. This is a late fall and winter mushroom which is gaining some ground as a good medicinal mushroom well worth investigating.


Another angle.

turkeytail log

Here is an extremely common mushroom found where ever trees grow in this world and can be harvested most times of the year for medicinal teas or soups. This mushroom which contains PSK is known as Turkey tails and also Yun zhi (Trametes versicolor).


A look at the white pore surface below the caps. Check it out. ciao

Seeing signs of mushrooms

26 Oct


Here is a fallen hardwood trunk nicely covered with Oyster mushrooms in prime shape for eating, also on this trunk were 3 Ganoderma applanatum fungi, aka (Artist Conk) so I wrote on 1 of these and will bring it home as well to dry and later use as a tea ingredient due to having similar medicinal properities as its close relative the Reishi mushroom.


Some more young Oyster mushrooms.


The Oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus) grows quite big here in eastern Canada with the largest ones in the photo measuring over 9 inches across the cap. Looks like a deer has nibbled on the mushroom in the middle of this group as they were around 4 feet of the ground. These larger Oyster mushrooms I like to dry and then powder to be used in medicinal teas or other foods like soups and baked goods.


More mushrooms and some fall colours for your enjoyment. ciao

Gypsy mushrooms

2 Oct


I forgot my camera tonight though I will show you a few Gypsy mushroom I’ve gathered and have now selected for the table as these mushrooms are at their best when the caps are round and young, the stems need to be discarded as they are hard to digest. The caps should also be well cooked.


Some of the slightly older mushrooms I will dry to use for tea especially during the flu season. Here is some interesting info concerning this mushroom now known as Cortinarius caperatus. botit.botany.wisc.edu/toms_fungi/nov99.html


Closer look at the caps with their white cap frosting and lovely wrinkles, click on to really notice these  characteristics, the stem ring and upper stem pattern with a rounded stem bottom are also important to know. There are some reasonably good photos of these in my edible mushroom page. ciao

Hemlock Reishi

26 Sep


Wow, Ganoderma tsugae is a beautiful mushroom to see while walking out in the woods during the fall season.


Many folks are familiar with the famous medicinal mushroom Ganoderma  lucidum which grows a little more south then the Maritime provinces of Canada.


One last look. ciao

Look up Chaga

15 Sep


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.


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.


Chaga close up.


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.


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.


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.


Some of the pieces in this one are quite marbled.


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

A walk down Chaga lane

15 Apr


Actually this is one of my favorite locations for gathering chaga over the last few years and I usually travel between 500 and 1,000 feet distance parallel to this road which normally in the early evening has a car  drive by every 5 minutes or so. This is a chaga hot spot as I have collected some huge chaga on yellow birch just 1/4 mile away from where I’m walking tonight though this area here is primarily white birch.


Most of the chaga here tonight are early in their development and I will not gather any of these though I will possible harvest some in the next 2 to 3 years.


All of these birch trees are still able to produce leaves but probably within the next 5 years the chaga mycelium within the tree will have completed its cycle. A few years before a chaga begins to appear on a tree the mycelium has already sealed the tree’s fate so harvesting chaga while the tree is still mostly alive makes no difference to the tree’s lifespan and the best qualities in Chaga are most available while the tree is still sharing its nutrients. Older Chaga from already dead birch trees are not suitable for making tea, a good example of this is the large Chaga shaped like an angel in my (Chaga page) it was nice to look at but not a useful medicinal mushroom and I hope no one is gathering to use or selling old chaga collected of dead birch trees to anyone.


Here is a tree I harvested 4 lbs from 2 years ago, it is still producing twigs with new buds and the chaga is also growing back as you can only see a little of the light brown area at the bottom of the Chaga where it was chopped.


This photo is a couple new Chaga emeraging from this same tree.


Here is the top section of this same tree with a couple of nice Chaga horns just under the top branches. A large birch like this one may produce many lbs of Chaga.


Now I’m on my way back to my car travelling on the opposite side of the road a few hundred feet in the woods and I finally found my first one over on this side after check this area a few times over the last 3 years,  it is quite a nice one as well, as it will be easy to harvest being at ground level and should increase in size in a year or 2. The Chaga future is looking good as long as a clear-cut doesn’t roll down the lane. ciao

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

Tis the season of surprises

25 Jul

A few blueberries and I couldn’t resist adding the only teaberry (Gaultheria procumbens) I seen tonight as these are usually gone in June.  This teaberry would be the fruit of a blossom from the  summer of 2011.

Here are new blossoms which will produce spring of 2013 teaberries if things go well. I’m  somewhat fascinated by these plants that over-winter as an early developing berry and continue on in the late spring in their ripening.

This was a bit of  a surprise as well this late in July,—-It is some spring oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus populinus) on a down popular trunk. Well it is getting dark and I’ve seen enough surprises. ciao