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Leaf, Root Fungi, Fruit

The Snowbank Mushroom

Photo of a snowbank mushroom courtesy of Kelly Chadwick.

In celebration of spring, people flock to their secret locations in search of morels. They start hunting weeks too early, unable to rein in their anticipation. This delusional state reoccurs annually for their entire lifetime. However, there is an antidote, ...

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Inner Bark: A Sweet Treat

Unlike the deliciously exaggerated sugar-and starch-filled produce of today, wild foods are often tough, bitter, astringent, or intensely vegetal, including many prized plants in older cultures. Modern palates aren’t adapted to these flavors. Which brings us to inner bark. Phloem, ...

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The Russula

A couple thousand species of mushroom inhabit our region, quickly perplexing the budding enthusiast. Most people give up once familiar with chanterelles, morels, and shaggy manes. However, there are certain groups of mushrooms that can be approached by broad rules. ...

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Bunchberries

Finding and picking fruit is instinctively rewarding, even intoxicating. Like foraging for mushrooms or hunting for Easter eggs, collecting berries triggers our ancient endorphin dropper, which keeps dripping as you pluck the never-enough morsels from the plant. About 20 wild, ...

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The Humble Puffball

The Blackfeet said they were fallen stars. In Western ethno botanical literature, puffballs are referenced far more than other fungi. Nowadays people tend to overlook them, maybe because of the resemblance to softballs, golf balls, and volleyballs. Yet they are ...

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Flower Petals

Spring’s anticipation leads to delusional expectations of woodland bounty before the ground has thawed. Foragers and chefs start calling in March inquiring about items for seasonal menus and pantries. If they left the comfort of their kitchen for a walk ...

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The Velvet Foot

There aren’t many wild foods to collect in the dead of winter and virtually none that are fresh. The velvet foot, flammulina velutipes, is a rare exception. From late fall to early spring, this delicate looking but tough mushroom appears ...

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Muppet Mushroom

The Muppet mushroom is my name for Albatrellus ellisii, officially called greening goat’s foot. A title that would drive off all but the most daring from eating it. This is probably why, in my 25 years of studying fungi, no ...

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Leaf, Root, Fungi, Fruit: Cow Parsnip

Cocktails are the new wine, a culinary vehicle to experience the complexity of our planet. Their ingredients are often derived from potent botanicals, thus a great use for wild edibles. Ecologically, cocktails are a way to sample native plants without ...

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Leaf Root Fungi Fruit: Coral Mushrooms

May is for morels, mycophiles say. But at “Out There Monthly,” May is for corals! No scuba gear required because the forest corals are terrestrial fungi in the genus ramaria. Corals are more prolific in the Northwest than anywhere in ...

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