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!

Birds do it, Bees do it…

Let’s do it — let’s eat Mushrooms!



While humans might be the only species known to pen lyric and verse in the devotion of mushrooms, let’s not assume that other critters aren’t equally full of song when it comes to discovering a particularly good crop of fruiting fungi!

If you’ve ever taken a picnic in the Boreal forest, you’re probably familiar with the good ol’ “camp robber”, the Canadian Jay (A.K.A. whiskey jack, grey jay, or if you’re fancy, Perisoreus canadensis). These loud and uninhibited cousins to the common crow are one of several wild bird species known to eat mushrooms. Field guides generally note fungi as one of the many food sources “scatter cached” for winter use by these clever avians, and while we have yet to observe it, Seattle-based blogger Leslie Seaton thinks they may have interrupted a foraging session! Check out their beautiful photos at this link. These jays have even been observed eating slime mold (which now forms its own scientific family separate from fungi, but were folded into a common fungi/lichen/slime grouping for a long time). Sounds tasty, right?

[Important note: don’t actively feed mushrooms to birds. Wild birds know what they should and shouldn’t eat, but domesticated birds accustomed to taking food from humans may be unaccustomed to a particular mushroom species and could experience negative effects].

Those who visited us at the Farmers Market in Annapolis Royal last summer may have gotten the chance to handle and observe the unique and gorgeous qualities of a large Red-Belted Polypore conk. We were lucky enough to find sitting next to a well-rotted stump in a local forest, and whether it was the act of snow accumulation or wild beastie intervention, this conk was no longer growing and had ample time to sporulate (i.e. re-seed itself in the local forest ecology), before we brought it home.

a couple of charming specimens

a couple of charming specimens

One of the fantastic things about this particular species is that its mycelium grows primarily in aging pine trees, providing unique immune-system modulators to bees seeking to improve hive health. As the tree decays, the soft wood makes an inviting home for wild bees (making it a potential “honey tree” and food source for local bears!). Not only is it an awesome example of the interconnectivity of life, from large mammalian predators down to microscopic fungal thread, but a population of bees with access to this natural medicine has a greater chance of surviving in an increasingly toxic, barren landscape — supporting both well-pollinated food (and other plant) crops and a more diverse ecosystem of wild plants that depend on insect pollination to flourish.

Of course, we’ve already discussed some of the holistic/spiritual (some might suggest “recreational”) uses of psychedelic mushrooms by creatures great and small. But what do all of these things have in common?

In addition to being tasty and full of nutritional benefits, fungi contain enzymes, acids, and other compounds that bear remarkable similarities to naturally-occurring components of other biological systems (living bodies) throughout the web of life. Time and time again, modern science “discovers” benefits to using mushrooms for health that have been foundational to folk and wild medicine-gathering practices for aeons.

Seasonal changes can send vulnerable bodies into self-defense mode, and there are numerous ways using mushrooms can aid in this process. Until this year’s torrent of delicious fresh seasonal fruiting bodies emerge from their wooden and earthen homes, Mushroom Tinctures can provide a steady supply of their health-promoting elements. Preserved in a water- and ethyl-alcohol base, useful aspects of Turkey Tail, Reishi, and Chaga mushrooms can be consumed easily and effectively.

A quick reminder:

Chaga, Turkey Tail, and Reishi have been vastly studied and share numerous health-promoting aspects, including anti-inflammatory, anti-oxident, anti-tumour, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. All of these species are considered Immune tonics.

Additionally, Chaga and Reishi are documented as having positive effects on blood sugar regulation.

Chaga and Turkey Tail are noted for their positive effects as Kidney tonics, while Reishi is best at supporting the Liver.

To learn more about these tinctures, click here!

Hope to see you at the Festival Clare-té on April 2nd! [Please note this correction to a previous post: we will have a limited number of autumn-innoculated grow-your-own [GYO] Oyster mushroom logs on hand at the Festival, and will take pre-orders for GYO Shiitake logs at that time].

Until we meet again, stay mushy!

[As always, all statements made in this blog and on any site or mailing associated with Fundy Spores are not to be taken as medical advice. We are wild crafters and mushroom cultivators, not doctors. Before beginning any new health-related regime, seek the opinion of a medical practitioner you trust.]