Big News from Fundy Spores!

Hi All!

It’s time for us to let you in on 2018’s exciting plans — like wild mycelium, we’re expanding!

Our home-grown Oyster and Shiitake  mushrooms have been fan favourites:  this year we’re looking to take production to the next level! In order to bring more fresh and delicious mushrooms to the weekly Annapolis Royal Farmers and Traders Market, we are growing our infrastructure and making other necessary improvements to our production methodology.

To achieve our goal, this month we are engaging our community (that’s you!) to find 50 “‘Spore’ters” who will each pledge $100 to our project in exchange for some excellent mushroom-related perks.

That’s right: from April 1-30 we are aiming to sign up 50 folks who can each claim a 24” Grow-Your-Own Shiitake Mushroom Log (a ‘Spore’ter exclusive for 2018!) and attend one of our ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ mushroom walks! Not only can you enjoy the experience of cultivating your own delicious (and highly beneficial) Shiitake mushrooms, and join us on a joyful excursion into a local wild area to make friends with the fungi, you’ll also Save 10% on all purchases from Fundy Spores in 2018!

But wait — there’s more! Check out the full details here (or download our Membership Package HERE) to get a full rundown of all the awesome benefits of being a Fundy Spores ‘Spore’ter!

Whether you’re in a position to become a ‘Spore’ter yourself, to give a membership as a gift, or are able to help us out by spreading the word about this campaign, we appreciate you as part of our growing community! Like you, we know it’s important to ‘shore up’ local food independence and believe in cherishing and protecting the wild spaces. Just as mushrooms disperse their spores, we can propagate these ideals; together, we’ll connect even more people to healthy local edible and other beneficial mushrooms!

How to become a Fundy Spores ‘Spore’ter, you ask? You’ll find the details on the ‘Community of ‘Spore’ters page, along with more info about the excellent benefits of joining this fantastic group of folks (Bonuses! Optional alternate perks for out-of-towners!). Still have questions? Contact Us — we’d be glad to hear from you.

Time is of the essence to claim your spot and secure your exclusive 2018 ‘Spore’ter perks —  thank you for helping us make our plans to grow a reality!

All the best,

– Patty & Lindsay
(the folks at Fundy Spores)

A special note: Social Media as we know it is in turmoil right now, and many people have been choosing to remove their accounts from Facebook or to restrict their activity on the site — if you have other means by which to share this posting, please do! We truly believe in ‘real world’, face-to-face organizing, and we’d greatly appreciate you telling your neighbours, friends, community groups (garden clubs, art collectives, health/support groups…), and other people in your lives about the benefits of being a ‘Spore’ter!

We were going to say ‘Happy Spring’ but…

Ever feel like winter’s never going to end? Like we’re going to have one Nor’easter after another until the snowpocolypse swallows us whole?

Here at Fundy Spores, we might just know a little about what that’s like (wink!). Thankfully, even on the iciest, windiest, snowiest days, we can take heart knowing that the mushroom mycelium is out there in the soil, nestled in the roots of trees and snoozing away in rotting logs, just waiting to burst forth with vigor and new growth!

Each spring, those little green beauties shooting up from under the snow are supported by their mycelial partners (mycorrhizae, soil fungi), which in turn share information and nutrients with other life forms in the incredible seasonal cycles of our ecosystems.

We’ll have some exciting news for you all in the coming days, and are looking forward to sharing the details with you soon. Keep your eyes on this space for a special announcement, and in the meantime, feast on these gorgeous mushroom photos: a sunny selection from past years’ mushrooming adventures!

(Keep hope alive folks, those flakes have got nothin’ on the fungi!)

Local Mushroom Medicine Endangered by Invasive Insect Species

Attention Reishi Appreciators: Local Mushroom Medicine Endangered by Invasive Insect Species

Hi Folks,

It’s with heavy hearts that we have to report that the Eastern Hemlock, home plant of our cherished Hemlock Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma tsugae), has been officially observed as infected by the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) in at least 5 counties in southern Nova Scotia.

We have been keeping our eyes on the spread of this insect throughout the Northeast Coastal forests, and consider it part of our mission to keep people in the loop about the vulnerability of our local medicine stands.

Due to the work by MTRI to educate the communities affected by this pest, which has been ravaging Hemlock groves throughout the Appalachian range for the last 25 years, we have felt it prudent to stay out of those stands where a great deal of our local reishi is found during the time of year when it is appropriate to be seeking and wildcrafting this important medicine.

We have been informed that the Bear River area is rife with this invasive species, which has devastating consequences for hemlocks (killing trees and multiplying at an extremely high rate), while some areas including Keji have yet to report sightings. Being that humans, their companion animals, and vehicles can be vectors for the HWA, our hearts cannot bear the weight of potentially contributing to the spread of such a damaging insect. As such, our supply of locally wildcrafted hemlock reishi may be interrupted.

Reishi is an extremely useful mushroom, and there are species types non-native to the region which will grow on trees other than Eastern Hemlock. While it continues to be part of our mission to highlight and demonstrate the power of local medicine, we cannot possibly consider the idea that it is a “good thing” there are more dead trees in which the reishi may grow due to such a serious environmental imbalance.

If you already using hemlock reishi growing on trees in your woodlot or local area, we do still encourage its use as part of your holistic health practice: however, please do educate yourself on how to identify the HWA and consider your movement through hemlock stands during the months of March-July, when the insects are mobile and can be easily transmitted.

Here at Fundy Spores, we are now looking to cultivate reishi in order to continue offering our popular reishi tinctures; be assured we will always be honest and up front about the source of our mushrooms, and will continue to refuse to buy and resell products made from mushrooms found/grown in and imported from other places. **

For more information on the HWA, attend an MTRI info session in your area and/or check out these links:

Tuesday, February 27th: North Queens Business Hub, Caledonia.

Wednesday, March 7th: New Germany Community Hall, New Germany.

Monday, March 12th: Brickton Community Hall, Brickton.

Thursday, March 21st: Bridgewater Legion, Bridgewater.

Please check http://www.merseytobeatic.ca to stay updated; call us at (902) 682-2371 or email info@merseytobeatic.ca.

Mark Whitmore, an American entomologist (Cornell University) at the forefront of HWA research, is offering a free webinar about this species on March 8 at 12 noon AST: http://www.emeraldashborer.info/eabu.php

** If you have observed the HWA in your woodlot or live in a known affected area, and are also aware of hemlock reishi growing there, we might be interested in negotiating a sustainable wildcrafting visit to your woods. Please contact us if you’re interested in working out this kind of arrangement!

Wacky weather, wild mushrooms!

Greetings, frosty friends!

We hope you’ve been safe and warm throughout the frigid days of late Dec and early 2018!

<<Fresh Wild Mushroom Alert!>>
Have you seen these beauties blossoming from the old hardwoods in your yard, woodlot, or neighbourhood? The sudden rise in temperature has prompted a local flush of what some call “Autumn Oysters” or “Olive Oysterlings”: we’ve spotted them at a nearby post office, just off the sidewalk in a local town, not to mention several ‘drive-by’ sightings! A delicious local edible, these  hearty mushrooms are perfect candidates for stir fries and soups, and dry down excellently for future enjoyment. You’d be hard pressed to confuse these ‘shrooms for any “lookalike” species, especially at this time of year!

Small Autumn Oysters for webAutumn Oysters close-up for web

Late Autumn Oysters (Panellus serotinas)

Key features: These gilled mushrooms are light drab-brown to olive green in colour, sometimes with a purpleish or blueish edge (especially after a frost). Usually found growing in clusters, with no stems, they’re not noted for having a particularly unique smell. We usually find them devouring old dead hardwoods, particularly maple and beech.

As always, exercise good practices when trying new foods, especially when identifying wildcrafted edibles! Make sure to refer to multiple current sources in order to confirm your ID and be sure to save a sample of anything you eat. You’re responsible for your own safety!

Let this be a reminder of the resilience and ubiquity of our dear fungi friends — cheers to the wild everywhere!

 

 

 

Mushrooms in December

Hey folks!

The cooling weather may have slowed down mushroom fruitings, but the forests still host an abundance of unseen fungal activity. Spores swirl, seeking suitable substrate for future growth, mycelium and their hosts change gears and tuck in for the cold season.

With fewer leaves on the trees and the herbaceous undergrowth giving over to frost, it becomes easier to spot shelf-shaped mushrooms adorning trunks and branches; among these are some of our best local edible and health-promoting species.

This weekend we’ll be at the annual special winter holiday edition of the Annapolis Royal Farmers and Traders Market! PLEASE NOTE THE NEW LOCATION!

When: December 2, 2017, 9am-3pm

Where: Champlain Elementary School — 109 North Street, Granville Ferry

This is your chance to bring home some delicious dried mushrooms: the special ingredient to take your seasonal cooking to new heights! We’ve got lovingly homegrown shiitakes and oysters, and a complement of amazing wild species (always locally and ethically wildcrafted, of course), to bring you that feeling of satisfaction and connection to nature that only ‘shrooms can offer!

Download this flyer as a pdf here

We’re also fully stocked up on health-promoting mushroom tinctures, available individually or as a gift set (which collects all three tinctures in a wooden gift box, stained with our Chaga ink!). Chaga, Turkey Tail, and Reishi are all known for providing immune system support, which might be just what you need to keep your engine tuned up throughout the chilly months.

 

For the artists among us, of course, we’ve got Chaga ink on hand — nontoxic, biodegradable and unique, this could be just the thing to bring an untamed element to your your palette!

To bring it all together, share warm thoughts and feelings with a notecard featuring mushroom art from the incredible LeyAnn Meau.

If you miss us in (near) Annapolis Royal on Dec 2nd, you’ll have another chance in Digby on December 9 & 10! It’s our first year doing a holiday event in Digby — if you’re in the area, make sure to drop by and say hi!

What: Digby Scallop Days 5th Annual Christmas Craft Show

When: December 9, 10am-6pm AND December 10, 10am-4pm

Where: Digby Elementary School — 20 Shreve St, Digby

Wishing you warmth and joy throughout the season!

Kick out the jams & boost your health with Mushrooms!

Hey all!

Now’s your chance to catch our popular “Mushrooms For Health” presentation. This will be our concluding “Mushroom Monday” of the year(!), so come out to learn which of our amazing local species can benefit you, how to get the most out of your mushrooms, and to discover links between your own health and nearby wilds!

Mushroom Mondays Poster Sept jpg for web

Speaking of which, don’t wait to register for our final guided mushroom walks for the season — Sept 27th and Oct 1st!

Grow your relationships with the fascinating fungal characters to be found all around you — join us, won’t you?

 

Chaga on amazing birch

P.S. The summer Annapolis Royal Farmers & Traders Market is drawing to a close — make sure to visit us to stock up on your dried home-grown and seasonal wild mushrooms, health-promoting mushroom tinctures, mushroom-inspired art cards, and artists’ ink!

 

Don’t Miss Out — Come for a Mushroom Walk!

Hello everyone!

It’s that time of of the year: you practically can’t move without seeing mushrooms! Here at Fundy Spores we’re relishing this overlap between late-summer species and the early onset of some autumn varieties.

Of course, this window won’t last forever — join us for a mushroom walk before it’s too late!

We’re currently registering for Wild Wednesdays and Sunday Saunters! On guided mushroom walks in Annapolis County,  we will seek out edible and health-promoting species, and discuss the potential artistic uses and important ecological roles of the various specimens we encounter.

Scarlet Waxy Caps for web

To keep group size manageable, we suggest contacting us soon to reserve your preferred date. If you would like to organize a group walk on a different date (on your land or a favorite local trail), reach out and we’ll work with you to make it happen!

Details:
Wild Wednesday Walks & Sunday Saunters
5:30-7pm on Wednesdays, 12-1:30pm Sundays
September 17, 20, 27, & October 1st
Location: All walks are scheduled for the Deep Brook area: we will meet in the parking lot at the Fundy YMCA (1043 Hwy 1, “Cornwallis”) and then drive together to the nearby hiking trail.
Cost: $35 per person. Group rate, for 6 or more participants, is $30/person. Maximum group size is 10 people.
Terrain will be mild-medium in difficulty. Registrants should wear good walking shoes and have confidence in navigating tree roots, rocks, moss, and other aspects of typical Nova Scotia forest trails.
Payment can be made via Interac email (fundyspores AT gmail DOT com) or in person (cash only, please) at the Annapolis Royal Farmers and Traders Market. Payment must be received to complete registration and hold your space.

To sign up via email, please contact us and include the following information:
– Your name (and number in your party, if registering for a group)
– Preferred date of walk (Sept 17, 20, 27, Oct 1st)
– Your method of payment (Interac security code if paying by email, or request to arrange payment in person).

We would like to ensure Fundy Spores workshops and events are as inclusive as possible. If you have physical mobility restrictions, and/or require assistance (e.g. an attending carer, interpreter, or assistance animal),  please do get in touch and we will make our best effort to accommodate you.

Bellybutton Hedgehog for web

There’s only a few more weeks left, so come by and visit us at the Annapolis Royal Farmers & Traders Market to pick up seasonal mushrooms for your favorite late summer/early autumn dishes, your copy of the latest edition of Mycomania, mushroom ink for artists, and of course, health-promoting mushroom tinctures!

Hikes and Spikes: it’s fall on the East Coast!

Hi folks!

Last night’s Wild Wednesday was a fantastic adventure into a local forest; we found hedgehog (AKA  “sweet tooth” or “bellybutton”) mushrooms and spotted a quintessential quill pig*!

The fungi were abundant, and it was a joyful experience — if you’d like to join us next time, get in touch soon to reserve your place!

**Special Announcement** We’ve added a “Sunday Saunter” for Sept 10th at 12pm (noon), weather permitting. To sign up, drop us an email or visit our table at the Annapolis Royal Farmers and Traders Market this Saturday (Sept 9th).

Learn what features of mushrooms make each species unique, discover some of our local edible, health-promoting, and otherwise fascinating fungi, and maybe even visit with some of our wilder neighbours.

Don’t miss out! The time is right to catch this season’s splendor, and (as though this needs saying), we can’t expect the weather to always cooperate.

Word nerds unite:  we spied a nicely “squamulose”  (featuring small scales) young  Destroying Angel, along with others ranging from buttons to fully-grown specimens.

Full details for our Mushroom Walks series:

Wild Wednesday Walks & Sunday Saunters
**NEW TIMES* 5:30-7 on Wednesdays, 12-1:30pm on Sundays
Throughout the month of September (excluding Sunday Sept 24th)
Various locations in Annapolis County. We will meet at an easily-identified location and proceed to the hiking trail as a group.
Cost: $35 per person. Group rate, for 6 or more participants, is $30/person. Maximum group size is 10 people.
Terrain will be mild-medium in difficulty. Registrants should wear good walking shoes and have confidence in navigating tree roots, rocks, moss, and other aspects of typical Nova Scotia forest trails.
Payment can be made via Interac email (fundyspores AT gmail DOT com) or in person (cash only, please) at the Annapolis Royal Farmers and Traders market. Payment must be received to complete registration and hold your space.

To sign up via email, please respond and include the following information:
– Your name (and number in your party, if registering for a group)
– Preferred date of walk and/or preferred location (e.g. “Close to Bridgetown” or “Close to Bear River”) if applicable.
– Your method of payment (Interac security code if paying by email, or request to arrange payment in person).

We would like to ensure Fundy Spores workshops and events are as inclusive as possible. If you have physical mobility restrictions, and/or require assistance (e.g. an attending carer, interpreter, or assistance animal),  please do contact us and we will make our best effort to accommodate you.

*porcupine

Walk with us on the wild side!

Hello everyone!

Exciting news — we are now registering for Wild Wednesdays! Each week in September we are offering guided mushroom walks in Annapolis County (various locations). Together we will seek out edible and health-promoting species, and discuss the potential artistic uses and important ecological roles of the various specimens we encounter.

To keep group size manageable, we suggest contacting us soon to reserve your preferred date. If Wednesdays don’t work for you, write us anyway and let us know when you’d like to go out. If we receive enough interest, we will add dates!

**SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT**
September 6th’s walk will be held in the Deep Brook area: We will meet in the parking lot at the Fundy YMCA (1043 Hwy 1, “Cornwallis”) and then drive together to the nearby hiking trail at 6pm.

Details:
Wild Wednesday Walks
6-7:30pm
September 6, 13, 20, 27
Various locations in Annapolis County. We will meet at an easily-identified location and proceed to the hiking trail as a group.
Cost: $35 per person. Group rate, for 6 or more participants, is $30/person. Maximum group size is 10 people.
Terrain will be mild-medium in difficulty. Registrants should wear good walking shoes and have confidence in navigating tree roots, rocks, moss, and other aspects of typical Nova Scotia forest trails.
Payment can be made via Interac email (fundyspores AT gmail DOT com) or in person (cash only, please) at the Annapolis Royal Farmers and Traders market. Payment must be received to complete registration and hold your space.

To sign up via email, please respond and include the following information:
– Your name (and number in your party, if registering for a group)
– Preferred date of walk (Sept 6, 13, 20, 27) and/or preferred location (e.g. “Close to Bridgetown” or “Close to Bear River”) if applicable.
– Your method of payment (Interac security code if paying by email, or request to arrange payment in person).

We would like to ensure Fundy Spores workshops and events are as inclusive as possible. If you have physical mobility restrictions, and/or require assistance (e.g. an attending carer, interpreter, or assistance animal),  please do contact us and we will make our best effort to accommodate you.

Looking for friendly fall fungi?

Hi folks!

Thanks to everyone who dropped by the Medway Community Forest Co-Op‘s first annual Forest Products Market this weekend! We had a great time & saw some fantastic work by local artisans!

This summer’s been a busy one, and we’ve heard from a lot of folks that they would like us to re-run our “Making Friends with Mushrooms” workshop — so please join us on August 28th for an encore presentation of this beginner-friendly talk and Q&A!

Mushroom Mondays Poster August for web small

(Download a pdf for your fridge or community board here: Mushroom Mondays Poster August)

Highlighting local species that are easy to identify (including some excellent edible and medicinal mushrooms), “Making Friends with Mushrooms” aims to take some of the fear out of wildcrafting, and to encourage an active relationship with your local forest fungi.

In other news, we’ve sold out of Issue #1 of Mycomania! Don’t miss out, grab your copy of our Prohibition-themed Summer edition before it’s too late!

We’d also like to give a shout out to all the lovely people who’ve come by our market table with photos (and in some cases, examples) of mushrooms to show us. Your enthusiasm for chanterelles, chicken-of-the-woods, fly agarics, corals, and other local species is wonderful!

Want a peek at the mushrooms we’ve been seeing lately? Check out some of these beauties!

Small orange mushroom in birch for web

Coral August 2017 small for web

Scaly vase chanterelle for web

Tinder conk for web

Now that we’re getting deeper into this region’s main mushroom season, look forward to “Wild Wednesdays” — each week, an excursion into the nearby woodlands to discover the diversity of local edible, health-promoting, and other fascinating fungi! Early registrants may have a chance to influence where the week’s walk will be held, so book now to save your place. Also, be sure to contact us if you would like to host a group walk (up to 10 people — bring 5, and you participate for free!) in your woodlot or local park this autumn. All of our walks are $35/person.

Don’t forget to drop by and see us each week at the Annapolis Royal Farmers & Traders Market, Saturdays from 8-1 in the market square: it’s your chance to indulge in a cup of Chaga tea, re-stock your tinctures, pick up some delicious local mushrooms, and add new colour to your palette with our earth-friendly artists’ ink!

Hope to see you in Bear River on Monday!