Foraging Log

What skills to learn, what tools to get
guitarplayer
Posts: 312
Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2020 6:43 pm

Foraging Log

Post by guitarplayer »

These are the Dryad's Saddles / Pheasant's Backs I have been writing about in my journal not long ago.

This is how it looks like in the wild

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This is how it looks like harvested

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We had them chopped up, fried and on a cheese toasties, as well as in a stew. With the Dryad's Saddle, it is important to harvest it when it is young, otherwise it becomes to hard and woody to consume.

These are some grey Oyster Mushrooms DW and I came across recently. We did not harvest these ones, we have a tree on the estate that already gave us heaps of them.

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We finally for the first time came across chicken of the woods. Unfortunately it was too high up to harvest.

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Chicken of the woods - we will get you eventually.

davtheram12
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Re: Foraging Log

Post by davtheram12 »

Love the idea of a foraging log! Great mushroom finds :)

Laura Ingalls
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Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:13 am

Re: Foraging Log

Post by Laura Ingalls »

I don’t have a pic, but I have found yellow oysters on the walking trail down the street

Made a pasta with them, cream, and shallot. Yum

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Lemur
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Re: Foraging Log

Post by Lemur »

Good idea for a log. At first, I've foraged for berries only. Still too timid to try mushrooms...can't tell what is edible and what isn't.
I also discovered what a paw-paw was after a friend mentioned that he picks them. Never heard of them or seen them in stores but can be found in the woods close to where I live. https://www.seriouseats.com/what-are-pa ... at-pawpaws or https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asimina

EdithKeeler
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Re: Foraging Log

Post by EdithKeeler »

I picked wild blackberries last weekend, enough for a pie. Will probably head out again Sunday for more. We had a lot of rain this year, so the berries are really nice.

Mushrooms scare me. The only ones I can identify as safe are morels and they are RARE!

guitarplayer
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Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2020 6:43 pm

Re: Foraging Log

Post by guitarplayer »

I sometimes wonder about blackberries, because bramble is often seen as a weed and people want to get rid of it. I love blackberries.

Young chicken of the woods growing on a decaying chestnut...

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...chopped in a pot...

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...and cooked with pasta.

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Yummy.

Salathor
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Location: California, USA

Re: Foraging Log

Post by Salathor »

Nice finds! I'm not a mushroom guy (especially scared of forest ones) but we recently grabbed about 4 pounds of blackberries and about as many of these sweet little yellow plums about the size of a LARGE cherry. We'd never seen them before this year. The bberry bushes near us are still covered with greenies and red ones that aren't ripe yet.

But man do they have thorns.

BTW, how do you post pictures so there appear inline in your posts?

Lucky C
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2016 6:09 am

Re: Foraging Log

Post by Lucky C »

Black cherry, prunus serotina, is not a wild edible I've heard about until I identified it thanks to a handy plant ID app. You wouldn't think it's a cherry tree looking at it because the fruit is small and in large groups like berry plants, but the tree can get to be 30+ feet tall. The fruits are half pit & the pits are poisonous, and it's not as sweet as cultivated cherries. But they seem to grow like weeds and are very productive this year. Good for snacking, and yesterday I cooked about a pound and strained the juice.

Elderberries are also getting ripe. You have to be careful with those because they're poisonous raw so you need to cook them and make tea/juice/syrup/wine.

Of the two, I like the black cherries better. Lower effort and tastier!

Lucky C
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Re: Foraging Log

Post by Lucky C »

I also tried some wild sasparilla berries a couple weeks ago. Those are tricky because the young plants have three leaves and you'd think they might be poison ivy, and the berries seem to be few and far between (I think they spread through roots more often). The berries aren't sweet but have a rich complex flavor, and I think it is clear to identify them because they look pretty unique. They are related to American Ginseng which is also edible. You can also eat the wild sasparilla leaves and roots (or make root beer with them!).

Last but not least, it's getting near the end of wild blueberry season. I have some plants in the shade that don't produce much but it's a nice little treat.

guitarplayer
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Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2020 6:43 pm

Re: Foraging Log

Post by guitarplayer »

Salathor wrote:
Mon Aug 02, 2021 6:30 pm
BTW, how do you post pictures so there appear inline in your posts?
I has never bothered to find out and then eventually had a look, I now use https://imgbb.com/ for uploading photos.
Lucky C wrote:
Sun Aug 08, 2021 5:25 pm
Black cherry, prunus serotina, is not a wild edible I've heard about until I identified it thanks to a handy plant ID app.

[...]

Elderberries are also getting ripe. You have to be careful with those because they're poisonous raw so you need to cook them and make tea/juice/syrup/wine.
I looked it up, am not entirely sure but I think that they can be semi cultivated in Europe, because my granny had one of these in her yard or a similar one. Anyway they were sour and the pit was large compared to the flesh. This was my first exemplar of cherries and for a long time I thought this is how cherries should look like.

I experimented with Elderberries, collected some and then cooked. They tasted fine, a bit like rhubarb. Then DW told me that the red ones are not ripe and I should wait until they are dark.
Lucky C wrote:
Sun Aug 08, 2021 5:35 pm
I also tried some wild sasparilla berries

[...]

wild blueberry.
I think there are none of the sasparilla in Scotland. And wild blueberries would be bilberries maybe? There weren't many of them here this year (lots of raspberries and strawberries though, both garden and wild).

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Here comes the almighty field mushroom! Also known as button mushroom everyone is familiar with, except that this one is wild. Slightly different taste, maybe more umami?

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One thing to watch out for is not to confuse it with a yellow stainer which can cause gastric upset. It is easy to distinguish them as the field mushroom smells wonderfully and the yellow stainer smells like iodine/hospital, and stains yellow when bruised.

ETA: got a whole bag of them a couple of days later. There are also suede / red cracked boletes popping up. They are not the highest quality mushrooms, but I have one spot where I go and when they will be there I will collect a sizable amount for drying, will hopefully post photos to show.
Last edited by guitarplayer on Tue Aug 24, 2021 4:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.

theanimal
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Re: Foraging Log

Post by theanimal »

Slightly more than 3 gallons of blueberries picked..hoping for at least 10.

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guitarplayer
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Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2020 6:43 pm

Re: Foraging Log

Post by guitarplayer »

nice @theanimal, how do you preserve?

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From today:

Brown birch boletes. They grow mostly around birches. Tend to get soaked with water and are not the tastiest of all mushrooms, but they look pretty. The photos don't do justice to their size, the biggest one got so heavy it collapsed under its own weight. The stem is very characteristic with the black marks, really hard to mistake for anything else. I would normally dry them for a future stew, but this time fried with onion and butter, they mashed and it turned into a sort of pate so added yeast extract to it. Worked okay on a toast.

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From yesterday:

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Suede bolete. Fried tastes like white of an egg, I guess this makes sense as it is mostly protein. These ones I dried, generally drying mushrooms enhances their flavor when later rehydrated and cooked.

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Red cracked bolete, a very close relative to the one above and the same in taste.

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Chanterelle, very delicious, fruity flavour. goes well with fried eggs, but today we went fancy and had it fried in a salad with raspberries, rocket, fried red onion and cheddar. One of a kind, although there is a lookalike called 'false chanterelle'. The difference is that the proper chanterrele has 'false' gills (see the photo and compare to the actual gills of charcoal burner below), whereas the 'false chanterelle' has actual gills with a clear demarcation line, and the stem of the chanterrele is much firmer and thicker than the lookalike. We made the mistake in the past and ate the lookalike with no repercussions whatsoever, but it was not tasty (tasted like nothing).

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Charcoal burner. This is my favourite mushroom so far I think, it tastes great and has an excellent, crisp texture even when cooked. The stem looks like a piece of chalk and it so breaks. It's from the family of brittlegills, some of which are poisonous. The key identifier of this mushroom is that even though it is from a family of brittlegills, the gills of it are not brittle and bend flexibly when pushed with a finger. To the contrary, other brittlegills would have their gills flaked like almond flakes. The cap can be coloured different ways, but I think mostly greenish/purplish. I am green/red colour blind so rely on the gills aspect, or on DW.

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Happy foraging everyone!

davtheram12
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Re: Foraging Log

Post by davtheram12 »

Picked a little over 7 pounds of Granny Smith apples from my father's backyard. Not sure if that's counts as foraging but I'd argue the condition of his backyard justifies it. Since my parents split, he's let both the front and backyard go. What was one a thriving and rich environment has turned into an essential wasteland. Nearly all of the vegetation has died off and what's left is dirt and concrete. Somehow the 22 year old apple tree has survived and continues to bear fruit each season. The DW loves them since she's passionate about baking. She'll likely make an apple pie, cobbler, tart, crisp, or anything else she may desire :)

Western Red Cedar
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Re: Foraging Log

Post by Western Red Cedar »

I picked 20 ounces (1.25 pints) of huckleberries over the weekend. I was a bit bummed that I didn't have an opportunity to pick on a backpacking trip the prior weekend. There were loads of great berries but I had to bail early due to rain. I took a chance on a tip about a new location and aimed for a similar elevation (5000-6000 ft.). I figured that even if I didn't find anything, it would make for a fun new hike with some nice views.

The berries around 5,000 were all dried or very small, but I found some great patches at 5,500 ft. I need to allow myself more time to pick when I head out next year. I only had about 1.5 hours before I had to head back.

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guitarplayer
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Re: Foraging Log

Post by guitarplayer »

@WRC, you inspired me, I went for a hike through the moors and collected some, too; in the UK they go by 'bilberries'. DW and I stuffed our faces on the spot but also got some home, had them wrapped in pancakes, with raspberry jam and peanut butter / yogurt+heather honey, it was quite something. How do you upload photos? I use ImgBB but am worried that they will disappear in distant future and my posts here will become obsolete.

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We found some large horse mushrooms. There are similar to field mushrooms posted earlier, but they smell of aniseed. Excellent taste, they were so large we decided to stuff them (like portobello from a shop) with onion, oats, garlic, cheese on top and bake.

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guitarplayer
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Re: Foraging Log

Post by guitarplayer »

Some new finds (to me as well!) from yesterday's walk:

Peppery boletes! First time ever I collected these. As the name implies, they are very much pepper-like. I dried them, going to powder and use like pepper (had a sniff as well, smell like mushrooms and also make me sneeze).

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Chanterelles are probably one of the more common mushrooms that folk heard of, very easy to distinguish, I also posted a photo before. These ones however are particularly large and well shaped. Now sauted and put in oil from purchased and consumed sun dried tomatoes inherited from a guest; we will use them for a salad.

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Here, after about 3 years of regular foraging, DW decided to go pro and harvested a blusher. It is from the family of amanitas and great care should be taken foraging any of these. Some Amanitas are one of the most (including deadly) poisonous mushrooms. The key identifier of the Blusher is that its skirt has lines (striations) running from the stem down. It also blushes slightly pink when damaged.

That being said, the blusher has taste different from boletes, much more savoury vs earthy/nutty of boletes; I really like it!

So yep, we are leveling up on foraging. This is no advice and for info purposes only, please do your own research when foraging and do not eat anything unless completely sure it is edible!

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Western Red Cedar
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Re: Foraging Log

Post by Western Red Cedar »

@gp - glad to offer some inspiration. It goes both ways as now I'm eager to get out this month to try and find some Chanterelles. I've only picked Morels thus far, but feel pretty comfortable identifying Chanterelles. I've been wanting to join a local Mycology group for a while now to feel better about identifying mushrooms, but they've been unable to meet for the last 18 months due to Covid.

For photos, I use Imgur: https://imgur.com/upload

Apparently the photos last forever unless you request they be deleted. You don't need an account and I think it is completely anonymous.

guitarplayer
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Re: Foraging Log

Post by guitarplayer »

I am yet to find Morels, I think they are not that common around here or perhaps just no luck, wonder how they taste. I found some False Morels which are poisonous and look like an ugly brother of the real ones.
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Recently at work I was on a walk and found this beauty of a mushroom: a broccoli-sized 1.4lb Blackening Polypore. They are fairly common and this time I finally decided to harvest one and eat it.

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Here you can see it blackening where touched/bruised...

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..chopped the stem off as too fibrous...

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...on a frying pan...

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...and cooked.

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I put it in the fridge, after a while it turned proper blue, would go well with an aubergine!

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Texture is pretty fleshy and meat-like, the slices here would easily go into a kebap. I did not fry the stem but chopped into chunks and cooked a broth from it, it's in the fridge now.

guitarplayer
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Re: Foraging Log

Post by guitarplayer »

Anyone fancy foraging for some creamy mushroomy goodness, or perhaps ink for a change?

This morning I found these fellows: shaggy mane, or shaggy ink cap. Hard to mistake for anything else. There is also a mushroom called ink cap which is not recommended for eating, it is not shaggy like these ones though.

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This is not a new mushroom to me, I remember having them one or two years ago as well, on a pizza; they were absolutely delicious. I fried them for sometime later today.

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The curious fact about ink caps is that they are very perishable and turn into an ink-like substance within hours / a day (depending on how young they are when collected). The substance can be easily processed into actual ink, people used to do it in the past to have stuff to write with.

I found one older specimen as well, left it on the counter for evidence. I might give it a go and process what's left from the mushroom into ink.

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ETA: going for a run with DW is foraging for:

* vitamin D (sun),
* endorphines (running, socialising),
* beautifully looking wild organic protein.

Some more field mushrooms (wild button mushrooms), and birch boletes, these ones young specimen = much better quality than the ones I have posted photos of a few posts back. You will notice the stem with black scales being the key identifier, and also the 'sponge' rather than gills underneath.

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mountainFrugal
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Re: Foraging Log

Post by mountainFrugal »

I am super curious what the ink looks like on a thicker paper or water color paper. How opaque is the pigment when spread? Also, once applied to paper and dried how much will it streak if you re-wet it? Could be a simple experiment on a corner of a page to answer all these questions if you have time :).

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