Market Season Begins Tomorrow!

Hey folks!

It’s finally time for the Summer 2018 Annapolis Royal Farmers and Traders Market to begin! Come by and stock up on your edible and health-promoting mushrooms and tinctures, grab a cup of hot chaga tea, and peruse our selection of mushroom art and zines.

Add mush love to your daily routine!

We’ll be in our regular spot, in the Market Square right by Sissiboo Coffee — look for the big black banner with our groovy logo (designed by fabulous artist LeyAnn Meau)

Due to the support of some very excellent people, we are expanding our operation this year and will have fresh mushrooms at the market regularly as soon as we can — a big shout out and THANKS! to those who have helped make that possible! Keep your eyes on the blog and/or sign up for our email list for announcements about the availability of new products.

Thanks also to Ordinary Family Food & Life for promoting our 2018 Community of ‘Spore’ters campaign in their monthly newsletter — if you believe like we do in good-quality food as a key part of the foundation for holistic wellness, make sure to check them out!

See you at the Market (every Saturday from now until October, 8am-1pm in Annapolis Royal).

P.S. If you’re a local maker, grower, artist, musician, etc, be sure to respond to this call out for participants: let’s have a Bear River Market this summer!

Don’t delay! The clock is ticking…

Hey everyone!

What a gorgeous day! Birds are cheepin’, the sun is shinin’, and we’re getting ever-closer to seeing spring mushrooms.

For those of you who’re hemming and hawing about joining our Community of ‘Spore’ters, you’ve only got 3 — that’s right count ’em — THREE days left to sign up and secure your sweet, sweet perks**. Including your very own Grow-Your-Own Shiitake log!

Wondering what we mean by ‘bigger and better than ever’? Check out this nice stack of locally-harvested maple logs — they’re 4-footers now, but when you’re ready to take one home, it’ll be cut down to a more manageable (and still quite hefty) 2-foot length. With so much wood available to the Shiitake mycelium, you can expect these logs to produce more mushrooms each flush, and last for several cycles!

So if you’re like us, and you want to experience the joys of cultivating your own log-grown, super healthful Shiitake mushrooms (not to mention saving money all summer long at the market, and getting to come out for a Walk on the Wild Side this autumn!) get on board before the train leaves the station on Monday (April 30) at Midnight!

[And if you’re not like us, and the idea of taking care of a Shiitake log isn’t your gig, don’t forget that our ‘Spore’ters have the option of swapping the GYO Mushroom log for a second ‘Walk on the Wild Side‘ or our ‘Save the Shipping’ option!]

To those of you who’ve already claimed your place, thanks so much! You’re helping make more nutritious, beneficial mushrooms available to the people in our shared community, and isn’t that just an amazing thing?

[Oh and if you’re lucky enough to have a living and loving parent, consider a ‘Spore’ters membership  for them — it might just be the cool and fun gift you’re gonna wish you thought of when Mothers’ and/or Fathers’ days roll around!]


Spores & Seeds this Saturday!

Hey y’all!

First off, many thanks to those who’ve shared our announcement of Fundy Spores 2018 Community ‘Spore’ters Campaign**

Shiitakes on log

Gratuitous Shiitake close-up! 2018 ‘Spore’ters get to take a log home to love & cherish (& harvest!).
Oh and don’t squint — we’re calling this photo “artistically blurry”.

Just a quick post today to remind you to come check out the great activities and vendors at Seedy Saturday this weekend in Clare!

Where: Rendez-vous de la Baie, 23 chemin du phare, Pointe-de-l’Église (23 Lighthouse Road, Church Point — look for the red roof at the Université Sainte-Anne!)
When:  le samedi 7 Avril 2018 (Saturday April 7 2018)
What Time:  10h à 14h (10am-2pm)
Why Should I? Because sooner or later, you’re going to want to grow something! There’ll be garden-related talks en Français and in English, plus the always-super annual market where you can meet some Seed sellers and other local Food Producers / Artisans / Skill-sharers / Sources of Inspiration!

All for the low-low price of FREE.

And as if that’s not enough, you can see us again after a long winter! In addition to saying hi, this is your chance to:

Nourrissons nos âmes and partake in some springtime fun! See you on Saturday!

** Missed the big news? Read all about it HERE!

Spring is in the air (and so are fungi)!

When we think of mushrooms, some of us think immediately of rich earth in dark and moist environments from which little white caps mysteriously emerge. Others  imagine green pastures or rice paddies populated by large animals, from whose dung mushrooms spring forth. Lush, multicoloured forests with dense leaf litter and an abundance of moss might be your picture of a mushroom’s paradise. While the presence of water for the growth of fruiting bodies might seem obvious, considering that in some cases water comprises nearly 90% of their weight, have you ever given thought to how much mushrooms rely on air?

Rather than producing seeds like a plant, fungi release microscopic spores to the air, relying on the breeze to carry the stuff of their next generations to new places. In stagnant environments populated by a large number of fruiting fungi, some people experience breathing difficulty due to the high volume of spores produced, or by characteristics specific to certain species (some molds, for example).

The flip side to this is that like humans, mushrooms take in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide; if submerged in water with no escape a mycelial culture will, essentially, drown. With these things in common between our species it’s no surprise that some mushrooms contain the building blocks for healthy breathing!

Reishi mushrooms are one of the world’s most famous wild (and cultivated) medicinal fungi. Although there are some localized differences between species, many mycologists consider the family of “varnish shelf” mushrooms (which includes Ganoderma lucidum, G. resinaceum, G. oregonese, and G. tsugae) medicinally similar. DNA analysis has suggested a very close relation between the Hemlock Reishi (G. tsugae) which is the most common member of this group found in the forests of eastern Turtle Island (and is the wild mushroom we use in our health-promoting tinctures) and the G. lucidum mushroom commonly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

According to Robert Rogers, author of “The Fungal Pharmacy”, reishi has a “special affinity” for the lungs. He notes that reishi is very effective in treating chronic bronchitis, bronchial asthma, and other allergy-related respiratory conditions.

Dr. Cass Ingram remarks that among its wide range of health benefits, Chaga (Inonotus obliquus)  it is well known in Eastern Europe for being effective in treating bronchitis and lung disease.

Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor) mushrooms are also traditionally used to treat infection and inflammation of the upper respiratory tract. We’ve received feedback that our turkey tail tincture is especially effective in clearing sinus congestion, allowing for improved breathing through the nose.

In Holland, Turkey Tails are called elfenbankje -- "fairy bench" mushrooms!

In Holland, Turkey Tails are called elfenbankje — “fairy bench” mushrooms!

Speaking of noses — taking deep breaths while hiking in the woods can sometimes reveal a particularly “mushroomy”-smelling locale, in which we may be lucky to discover them in abundance.  Some among us are even attuned to the scents of particular mushroom species, and can successfully forage edible and medicinal wild fungi using these cues (animals with even more sensitive schnozes, like dogs and pigs, have been known to snuffle out truffle fungi even through layers of soil!).

So you see, breathing helps us find mushrooms, and mushrooms can help us breathe — just another example of inter-species mutual aid, on a growing list of the fabulous features of fungi!

Does the thought of finding interesting, useful mushrooms put a spring in your step? Contact us to organize a guided mushroom excursion on your woodlot or locally-accessible public forest (rates vary).