i recently attended the annual carnivorous plant show at roger williams park botanical garden. i didn’t know i was into these plants until i got there and everything was so—sexy! ok, i am going to turn off the commentary as these plants speak for themselves.
i have been spending a lot of my foragng time with maitakes, one of my favorite fungi for eating and medicine.
i love to go out looking for a little while which inevitably turns into all day. i love getting outside, finding amazing old trees and hanging out with them. i basically took an old-tree tour of the state, and the joy of finding fungi is only 1/2 of it.
i love the hunt, i believe we are engaging all of our senses and it is satisfying on a deep level. i love to get a call on my “mycophone” –it’s kinda like this: “hey! over here! come over here!”…and i do.
and no, i’m not going to tell you where i found them. but if you do find some, remember-take out the bugs. trim off the soil. cook well. use butter.
and always, always have a positive id on any wild food. don’t use the internet as your main source for anything, especially mushroom id.
mushrooms also have medicial properties-often helping the liver, immune system, blood sugar and even possibly helping prevent cancer. oddly, they have antifungal properties to help compete with other spores. and some are quite nutritious-nourishing on a deeper level. i like to make a mushroom tea in winter.
and finally, there are other mushroom fruiting right now too. we like chicken of the woods and the honey mushroom as well as turkey tails, oysters and chaga, and this beautiful fungs we think is “shaggy mane”.