Hooray! The favorite time for foraging for the year has finally come! My family's all time favorite fungi has started to bloom in numbers uncountable. For the last few days, I have been collecting an overwhelming amount of Golden Chanterelle and Red Cinnabar mushrooms. It is a real treat for us, as we enjoy these the most when they are stir-fried with garden grown and fresh zucchini, yellow squash, and green beans, seasoned with our own spicy peppers! Our first two harvest's have been huge, one at 2lbs.and 2.05oz., and the other at 13.4 oz. These fungi are actually related to the same genus!
The features of Cantharellus Cibarious: This mushroom varies in color from light coral-orange to pumpkin orange. The veins on the underside of the plant are slight grooves, that run into each other. If your mushroom's grooves run in an uninterrupted line from under the lip of the cap to the stem, then you have the infamous Jack-O-Lantern, the poisonous look-alike. The common reaction is an upset stomach and vomiting, which is not comfortable, but won't kill you. Don't worry, though, the Golden Chanterelle is one of the easiest mushrooms to identify! The Chanterelle's cap is varied, as it can be bumpy or smooth ( as you will see in the pictures). The edge of the cap is usually frilly, but there are exceptions. The flesh is white, thick, odor fruity or mild, taste somewhat peppery when raw. If you want to be sure that you have the right mushroom, the spore color of the Chanterelle is pale yellow to ocraceous, and the spore's shape is elliptical, smooth, hyaline, non-amyloid. These are choice mushrooms! Harvest time is from late spring to late fall.
The Features of Cantharellus Cinnabarinus: This mushroom, commonly known as Red Cinnabar or Cinnabar Chanterelle, is bright red to pinkish-orange, and is tiny. The cap is convex, becoming flat to somewhat funnel-shaped with age. Flesh is thin, whitish to colored like the cap surface. The gill-like ribs are forked, just like the golden chanterelle, and are well spaced with blunt surfaces. Colored like the cap, but a little paler. The stalk is almost equal, or tapering downward, and is the same color as the gills. Usually white at the base, and smooth. The spore print is pinkish-white, and elliptical, smooth, non-amyloid, and hyaline. It usually occurs in broad-leaved and mixed woods. This fungi loves sandy soil and moss near streams. Harvest time is late spring to late fall. Flavor is not distinct.
So, now that you know about these frilly, orange maidens, maybe you can collect some for yourself. Walking in the woods or playing in a river, you can admire the beauty of these fungi, as they pop out of the leafy forest with their dazzling bright colors and remind you of how wonderful our God is to make such a marvelous place! In the meantime, here are some pictures to look at!
This blog chronicles our very full life here on WoodSong Farm. We will share everything from dog to sheep stories, unique wooly works, to animal husbandry tips we pick up along the way. I hope this helps to give you an idea of what our extended farm family and wooly projects are like, and that we may somehow benefit everyone who reads about our journey.