Tag Archives: wild edibles

A May Bolete

30 May


Just a quick post on a bolete I found today under an Oak tree a few steps up the street from our house. This one may be Xanthoconium separans or possibly Boletus variipes. This is actually the first time I found a bolete in May in my neck of the woods, in fact I can’t recall seeing a king bolete type look-alike in June either. You don’t have to go anywhere to be amazed these days.


This is a little more seasonal and edible as I’m well away from the toxins of the street and the mushroom’s identity is certain, above and below are 2 photos of Dryad’s saddle which I am adding to my wild edible mushroom page tonight.


Here you can notice the pore surface under the cap if you click on the photo. ciao for now


Back in the saddle again

22 May


Here is a close up of a young Dryad’s saddle AKA pheasant’s back mushroom (Polyporus squamosus). It has a very unmushroomy scent something like watermelon rind.


I originally tried Dryad’s saddle around 30 years ago and haven’t given it a second chance till I found a young mushroom last fall and decided to see if anyone had any recipes on the web for this mushroom as I usually during those days of old only tried new wild mushrooms fried in butter with a touch of salt and Dryad’s saddle at that time wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t in the same league as Cep or Chanterelle.


As you can see I have my tent pole out again and these mushrooms are in around 13 feet of the ground. The recipe I did find last fall changed my mind completely on the quality of Dryad’s saddle as a wild edible mushroom though I didn’t follow the recipe fully as no pesto or cream were added to the mushrooms and onions, though I did cut the mushrooms into the small pieces as they suggested, instead of the pesto and cream  I added some sea salt and plain whole milk yogurt after the heat was turned of the mushrooms and it was one of the nicest wild mushroom surprises of the year for me. Here is the recipe from eatweeds.co.uk      www.youtube.com/watch?v=kc3ifsbQapo


You may also find Dyrad’s saddle AKA Pheasant’s back mushroom on downed Elm trees which makes for easy pickings, but that wasn’t the case for me today, they are much harder to knock out of the trees than oyster mushrooms as you can see these came down in pieces from the outer edges which happens to be the most tender part of the mushroom. click on to have a look at the tops and under side of the mushroom. These are common along river floodplains where many old elms died off from dutch elm disease in recent decades.

Cool to be green

9 Dec

DSC05299Shepherd’s Purse seems to produce the year’s best tasting and largest leaves in December in our yard. The life cycle from germination to producing mature seeds ready to start it all over again can be within a 3 week span. It would be hard to find a place on earth where Sheperd’s purse couldn’t grow as it can even stand up to the intense heat of the tropics as well.

DSC05301Sweet Cicely (Myrrhis odorata) is a European plant I noticed growing quite wild here in Canada as it has spread its way around our yard. The folks who lived in our home in the 1960s planted some rather hardy edible, medicinal plants which were usually planted as ornamentals during those years though these plants are re-emerging as plants of interests due to their useful and self-sufficient nature, which makes them idle northern permaculture plants.

DSC05306Here are a couple sweet cicely roots ready to be eaten raw, the roots at this time of the year have a hardy anise flavour which I find make a tasty nibble and breath freshener. The leaves are less intensely flavoured and can be used in teas or as a sweetening agent.

DSC05303Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis) is a very common native wild plant, here we see the first year basal rosette leaves.

DSC05304Another first year evening primrose with  the pink root several inches out of the soil which is a common sight in the Maritime provinces of Canada. Evening Primrose is a rather interesting edible and medicinal plant which is found in most disturbed soils and at the edges of salt marshes as well, the leaves are very peppery and I have used them medicinally in teas, the flowers are good in salads and roots have a taste I’m fond of though the slimy texture prevents them from becoming a popular vegetable. Evening Primrose seeds are a well known source of GLA.

DSC05310Ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea) seems to be as green as ever during these days when temperatures are dipping below the freezing mark much off the time. Still exploring new ways to enjoy this very aggressive lawn plant other than the usual medicinal tea mixes.

DSC05309Another chilly night  approaches with Jerusalem Artichokes  in the slow cooker with some onion and dried King Bolete (boletus edulis), this recipe will continue to be a favorite on our supper table, as long as you can dig where I’m coming from. ciao

around the garden

24 Nov

Here are a few semi wild plants producing fresh greens around the garden right now, at the top -cow parsley, clockwise next — common hedge mustard,– caraway at the bottom and then –shepherd’s purse at 9 o’clock and in the center are the tubers of a member of the mint family known as –woundwort (Stachys palustris) which I introduced to the edge of the garden a few years ago, at that time I drove an hour to one of the few areas in New Brunswick where this plant can be found in the wild which is along the St John River. Although in my local area of N.B. woundwort is rare, close by in neighboring Nova Scotia and also Maine, USA this plant has been designated a noxious weed, I’m a bit surprised this plant isn’t a more popular wild food as the tubers are tasty fresh or cooked, I’ve already enjoyed the 4 in photo simply eaten raw shortly after the photo was taken, I couldn’t resist their crunchyness any longer and I needed some energy to take the next step into the garden to dug up some Jerusalem artichokes to be placed in the slow cooker for supper, cooking Jchokes in this manner can make for a more pleasant atmosphere in the forecoming hour after the meal especially if you have a few guest over. ciao

Wild oyster mushroom fishing

4 Nov

Here’s a new activity for you,The oyster mushrooms above were a little to easy and some folks may say, like fishing in a barrel, I could drive my car a bit closer to the tree and reach out the window and grab a cluster, which means on a frequently travelled road they would have taken up to much pollution to use for food, especially since a very active gravel pit is located across the road, so these mushrooms are best left here to participate in some mycoremediation to help out the environment.

This is more like it, now I am in an old hardwood forest a few miles away, here we see a newly fruiting mushroom cluster with some older but possibly good clusters further up. This tree almost looks like it is laying down on a bed of snow, but the white background is an overcast sky and a light mist is in the air, perfect fishing weather here in Atlantic Canada.

I got a bite, this will actually be my second cluster I attempt to catch from this sugar maple tree. This group of mushrooms is around 14 feet off the ground and my 8 foot fishing rod (tent pole {click on this photo  for better view}) is getting close to the limit of my casting range. I could have brought a fishing net, but trying to catch the falling oysters makes the sport even more fun.  Wild oyster mushrooms grow in most temperate and tropical climates throughout the world and make for easy dry land fishing providing you have a fishing pole (no strings attached) and can wait for the right time when they surface from their tree trunks. ciao

huckleberry grinn

26 Aug

No mushrooms in the mountains today on the forest floor. So moving from the vegetable to the fresh fruit section.

I noticed these huckleberry plants while gathering ripe low bush blueberries a month ago, so I stopped in for a look in this Jack pine area on the way home and the huckleberries are ready. I also chose to bring a few leaves to help in identification as the backside of the leaves are supposed to glitter when exposed to sunlight due to small yellow colored oil glands, I notice the sparkle though I’ll need a lens to see the yellow glands. I may also try a huckleberry leaf tea as well.

There appears to be 2 different types of huckleberries in the above and below photos, or they both may be Gaylussacia baccata, both fruits contain the crunchy small seeds which  informs the berry picker he is gathering something other than blueberries.

I have tons of low bush blueberry experience in both eating and picking beginning way back as a pre-schooler in the early 1960s. Huckleberries are new to me though, yet I can tell by tasting these berries this morning we are in for some frosty good huckleberry popsicles this afternoon. ciao

Banana Boletus

25 Aug

The plan was to find the above poplar trunk and cut a section to take home to see if I could possibly grow a few of these in my yard which I suspect are Hypsizygus tessulatus. These mushrooms are quite  popular as an edible mushroom in Japan known as Buna Shimeji.  Although I took the above photo only a week ago and the area to re-step was only an acre or so large I was unable to find this log and my other idea was to possibly find a few more lobster mushrooms, but there were only a few overmature ones left there.

The forest mushrooms changed quite dramatically in a short spell, by now I should be use to this, though again I was pleasantly surprised as there were numerous very beautiful but poisonous destroying Angels in the woods and even more numerous Banana boletus (Leccinum subglabripes) in photo above.

I took this photo for a few reasons (1) I didn’t place this banana boletes mushroom in the tree (2) You can notice a destroying Angel on the ground to the left if you click to enlarge the photo. (3) Many mushrooms close by had been eaten by the forest creatures as many caps were gone with just the remaining stems still there, so I’m curious to who placed this mushroom in the tree, a squirrel, chipmunk, tossed by a deer, coyote, fun to speculate.

Here are the Banana boletus caps with their spongy pores removed and just a final clean up and into the dehydrator they will go, everyone loves dried banana boletus chips. This morning I’m of to find some Catathelasma ventricosum, but we will see what is in store.  ciao

Burly mountain memoirs

21 Aug

Some Burly Caledonia Mountain, Albert Co, NB Balsam fir trees.

A few mountain mushrooms.

Lobster mushroom


Garlic Marasmius, these little mushrooms do smell quite garlicy and many of them appear to be growing on the end of just one decomposing Balsam fir needle. This is my first collection of this very common tiny mushroom in this area.

I never seen or talked to anyone out in this neck of the woods, though I get the message it is best to watch my Ps and Qs up here.

I’ve consumed enough for today, time to head home with a half tank left and 20 miles to go. Ciao for now

The lobster mushrooms are surfacing

14 Aug

We received some rain this weekend which seemed to stir up our friends from the deep.

As you can see the lobster mushroom tends to stay mostly undercover though their bright color will easily draw your attention.

Of all the wild mushroom I gather the lobster mushroom is hardest to clean but they make up for this with their meaty size with many of these ones gathered today weighing around 8 ozs.

The first 6 photos are of mushrooms found within a 10 feet space and are the mushrooms in the first basket photo in front of the hollow stump.

This clump of lobsters convinced me to look around a few more trees and yes there were more close by.

Looking back it seems we will have a few lbs to eat fresh and enough for a load in the dehydrator for further down the road. ciao

A ramblin bramblin man

11 Aug

I was up looking at a forest property that was for sale 50 miles north of my place and was stunned to find some nicely ripe blackberries. In my area I am use to seeing blackberry canes between 4 and 10 feet though usually the canes bear numerous large thorns so a sweater or protective coat is worn while picking wild blackberries, but today I’m a pickin and a grinnin in my tee-shirt as these blackberry canes are practically thornless and my usually blackberry companions the yellow jacket hornet are strangely absent from this area. Click on to see these blackberry photos up close.

These blackberries are not only easy to pick but are the sweetest I’ve found in many decades of gathering this wild fruit, so I will be definitely placing some of these berries in the ground closer to home. I gathered up approximately 5 gallons of berries in 2 hours though I didn’t have my berry picking gear. I did have a 2 litre ice cream container and my mushroom collecting basket which worked out fine. A couple other plants of interest in the photo are fireweed and pin cherry trees.

Nature always amazes me, I recently checked the unripe blackberries in my area which has a growing season 30 plus day more than the area I visited today and I was going to start gathering in my area in 2 weeks, todays gathered berries were actually at the end of their growth as bear have been in feeding for many days so these blackberry plants may produce ripen fruit the last week in July if grown in my yard.

At this time I own no forest property but would like to protect at least one of these recently cut areas even the wood harvesters aren’t interested in at this point and just let the natural development of plants and trees play out on their own. I didn’t get much of a chance to check out the full 100 acre property which has a swamp fen and possibly many plants I’m very interested in, though I would probably intervene with a few of my favorites if they naturally fit in and can compete on their own and let nature do the rest, if I do decide to be involved in this spot. This place was harvested for its wood 10 years ago and wasn’t replanted, so no chemical spraying on the land which is right up my alley. ciao