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The Mushroom Forager

Snapshots from field, forest and kitchen with Ari + Jenna | Writers and instructors on wild mushrooms and edible plants | Based in Vermont

http://www.themushroomforager.com/2018/09/04/family-foray/

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Plump hedgehog mushrooms are fruiting at the forest's edge, but there's no time to stop for these gourmet edibles - Eliana has already scurried up the rocky path far ahead of us. Read Ari's latest post about mushroom hunting with our mycophilic daughter. (Link in profile ☝🏽️)

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This basket of yellow foot chanterelles, black trumpets, hedgehog and lobster mushrooms was headed straight for the cast iron skillet. Thanks to everyone who made yesterday's workshops at The Nature Museum, which culminated in a tasting, so fun and successful.

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Summer gold ✨ #chanterelles

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After a slow, dry start to the summer wild mushroom season, rain has fallen on the land. Northern Vermont's forests, recently parched, are still waking up slowly from the intermittent but at times overwhelming rainfall and thunderstorms. Conditions seem to be improving each day, and we are relieved to be finding tender new specimens fruiting of favorite edibles like cinnabar-red chanterelles, golden chanterelles and lobster mushrooms. This Adirondack specimen of the spindle-shaped yellow coral is not recommended for the table, but its stunning golden hue is a harbinger of a bright and abundant season.

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We have returned to balmy Burlington after a week in Maine, where we feasted on wild blueberries and lobster and swam in frigid waters. It was a dry, rainless week, but we awoke every morning to find a thick layer of moist coastal dew coating our campsite. This summoned a variety of familiar summer mushrooms growing in surprising settings - a terroir that melds mountains and ocean, conifers and pink granite. We found these distinctive golden chanterelles growing amid lichen under spruce trees, and enjoyed just a taste of them grilled with a few morsels of Maine porcini.

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We found this volunteer king stropharia (Stropharia rugosoannulata) among the strawberries today @lastresortfarm on our first day of berry picking of the season. The strawberries were exquisite. While the king stroph, or wine cap, does not rank among the finest of edibles, it is a sun-loving soil builder that thrives in a garden environment. This species can be found wild or can easily be cultivated. Try cloning wild specimens to create your own spawn, which can colonize sawdust or wood chips.

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No matter how many morels one has found, the first find of the season is always a revelation. ✨ Read Ari's latest blog post, which includes our first ForageCast of the season! (Link in profile ☝🏽️)

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Found our first morels of 2018 today. Grateful for these spring treasures!

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Ramp joy ✨

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Spotted these stunning scarlet cups among the spring ephemerals today.

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Gary Lincoff, legendary mushroom expert, naturalist, writer, teacher, and radiant spirit, passed away on Friday morning. He will be deeply missed. I never had the chance to meet Gary, but his work left a lasting impression on me and instilled an enduring sense of wonder for the mycological world. When I was all of ten, his Audubon guide caught my eye in a bookstore display, and I begged my mom to buy it for me. She reluctantly obliged, and that became the bible that I took on countless hunts and used to identify my first hen of the woods as a child. Lincoff's later work The Complete Mushroom Hunter is even more accessible and full of colorful, candid stories. But my wrinkled, field-tested Audubon guide will forever be the book that sparked my passion and awakened me to the vast, enigmatic world of wild mushrooms. Thank you, Gary, for your prodigious contributions to the wild world of mushroom hunting, and for sharing your knowledge so graciously with the next generation. It is work like yours, finding the pulse and abundance of the wild even in the heart of New York City, that breaks down boundaries and brings us closer to nature.

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Dreaming of ramps, morels and other spring delights as we begin to post spring workshops to our website (link in bio ⬆️). Please stay tuned for additional spring workshops, as well as our summer and fall workshop schedule. And thanks to Monica Donovan for this photo of Jenna!

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This woodland wanderer was delighted to find a birch polypore hidden under this fallen birch. 🍂

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While it is unseasonably warm in our neck of the woods today (northern Vermont), the fungi are beginning to hide for the winter months ahead. If you're lucky, there are still a handful of gourmet edibles to be found in the region like the delicious, stunning lion's mane (shown here is Hericium americanum).

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This sweet forest child has been mesmerized by the fungi and red eft newts this season . . . This photo was taken during one of our guided forays at Footprint Farm this past month. As our 2017 workshop season draws to a close, we are grateful for all of the wonderful, enthusiastic participants we had this season. Happy autumn hunting!

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The woods are heavy with honey mushrooms (Armillaria mellea; and the ringless Armillaria tabescens), and the knowledgeable hunter can harvest these aggressive parasites with abandon, subject to several culinary caveats.

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The venerable maitake, or hen of the woods (Grifola frondosa) is just coming back into season. We found our first of the year this past week near Burlington, VT. Look at the base of oak trees or stumps for this delectable fall treasure now through October!

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Ari found this beautiful lion's mane, one of many and our first of the year. An auspicious birthday find, and a stellar accompaniment to a lobster feast. Hericium americanum is shown here - we found its close relative H. coralloides on the same log.

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