News

News, Updates, & Moving Forward…

LYL_AvatarGreetings!

As some of you have noticed, I’ve not been posting quite as frequently as I once did.

And there’s a good reason for that…

No… I didn’t get bored with Wild Foodism.  I didn’t abandon the blogosphere, and I certainly didn’t renounce the forager’s lifestyle.

In June, I launched Learn Your Land — an online community and database of naturalists, foraging events, wildflower hikes, mushroom forays, bird walks, and more.

How does it work?

Simple.  You choose your area of interest (say, Western Pennsylvania), followed by your topic of interest (say, foraging).  A map will appear, displaying all the naturalists and events pertaining to foraging in Western Pennsylvania.

Other topics of interest include birds, plants, mushrooms, animals, and insects.

As of now, coverage includes Pennsylvania, with plans to eventually cover the entire United States… and beyond (well, maybe not Jupiter… but Canada, Europe, etc.).

Don’t live in Pennsylvania?  It’s all good.  You can still find my writing over at the Learn Your Land blog.  Think of it as an extension of Wild Foodism.  If you ever found any value here, it is my hope that you will find interest in the writing over there as well.

Anyway, if you’d like to stay up to date with Learn Your Land, as well as whatever additional shenanigans I’ve been getting into, I have an easy way for you to do that.

You can join the Learn Your Land community!

It’s really easy to do:

  1. Go to www.learnyourland.com
  2. Click the “Join” button at the top
  3. Fill out the info, and when you get to “I am a…”, click “Subscriber.”

That’s it!  Very quick and easy. You will now receive (occasional) updates on new posts, events, and other fun things.

If you have any questions regarding the process, you can find my email address on the Contact page.

Thanks so much for all your support the past few years!  I will continue to create content that I hope you will find informative, interesting, entertaining, and most importantly… relevant.

Please check out LearnYourLand.com… that’s where I’ll be!

I hope to see you there!
-Adam Haritan

cropped-adamice.jpg

Links:

Advertisements

Medicinal Mushroom Workshop and Summer Foraging Hike in Western Pennsylvania

wildreasonsGreetings!

I have some great news for you…

On Saturday, June 20th, I will be leading the Medicinal Mushroom Workshop and Summer Foraging Hike at McConnells Mill State Park… and I would love for you to join me!

If you’re interested in learning how to identify, harvest, and use medicinal mushrooms, this is the perfect event for you.  Additionally, the second half of the program includes a wild plant and mushroom foraging hike through the beautiful Slippery Rock Creek Gorge within the park.

But first, what the heck are medicinal mushrooms?

Well, picture those mushrooms that you find in the bins at the grocery store.  See them in your mind, feel them, smell them (okay, so they don’t exactly compare to lilacs).  Now imagine these fungi with several times the nutrients and medicine…

Hello medicinal mushrooms!

You see, medicinal mushrooms are the superstars of the fungal kingdom.  Plenty of research suggests that these mushrooms demonstrate powerful anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral properties, and many experts consider them to be top candidates for immune-system support.

But don’t take my word for it:

  • A 2012 study from ISRN Oncology found that Turkey Tail mushroom significantly improved the immune systems of breast cancer patients following conventional treatment.
  • Chaga mushroom is one of the richest sources of betulinic acid, a compound that has been shown to exhibit anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anti-HIV, anti-malaria, and antioxidant effects (Current Medical Chemistry, 2005).
  • A Maitake mushroom extract has been shown to demonstrate protection against diabetes by slowing glucose absorption in the body (Biotechnology and Applied Biochemistry, 2013).

…and the list of research goes on and on.

Now, are you ready for the best part?

Are you sure?  Positive?

Okay, here it goes…

Medicinal mushrooms grow in Western Pennsylvania!  In fact, they grow all over Pennsylvania.

That’s right… we’re talking chaga, reishi, turkey tail, lion’s mane, birch polypore, and dozens more.

Being a huge proponent of medicinal mushrooms myself, I’d love to show you how to properly identify, harvest, and create meals and medicines using these powerful mushrooms.

Additionally, if you’re interested in learning how to identify and harvest wild plants for food and medicine, I’ve got that covered, too…

The second part of the program (as I mentioned earlier) will include a hike through Slippery Rock Creek Gorge in the park as we identify and discuss the summer edible and medicinal plants.

By attending this program, you will learn:

  • The top 5 medicinal mushrooms of Pennsylvania and how to identify them
  • Medicinal mushroom health benefits
  • Where to look for medicinal mushrooms
  • How to harvest medicinal mushrooms
  • How to dry and store medicinal mushrooms
  • How to make decoctions
  • How to make tinctures
  • Wild plant field identification
  • Wild plant nutrition
  • Plant harvesting methods
  • Latin nomenclature

…and more!

When:  Saturday, June 20th, 2015
Where:  McConnells Mill State Park, Western Pennsylvania (39 miles north of Pittsburgh)
Time:  1:00 – 4:00 PM
Investment: $30

The program will entail light to moderate hiking (some rocks and steep hills), and will take place rain or shine.  Please note that in order to maximize your learning experience, space is limited and registration with payment in advance is required to secure your spot.  The exact class location will be provided upon registration.

To register, please contact me (Adam) at

adamharitan@gmail.com

Come celebrate the last day of spring in a beautiful park with a great group of foragers!  We look forward to seeing you there!

Thank you!
-Adam


Like what you’ve read?  Sign up below to receive notifications for new posts, and don’t forget to check out the Facebook (facebook.com/wildfoodism) and Twitter (twitter.com/learnyourland) pages to learn more about wild food nutrition and identification!

Want to connect with naturalists in your area?  Some of them may even be medicinal mushroom experts!  Check out Learn Your Land to learn more!

Thank you!
Adam Haritan

adamheadshot3

signinformwildfoodism

Wild Food News And Links: Edition 4

cookforest3wildfoodismWelcome to the 4th edition of Wild Food News And Links!  It’s my intention to share recent, relevant, and riveting news from around the web pertaining to the wild food lifestyle.  If you discover news that may benefit the readers of Wild Foodism, please let me know so that it can be considered for a future edition.

New Resource

Do you live in Western Pennsylvania?  Do you have a Facebook account?  If so, I’d love to invite you to join a new group I created, cleverly titled Western PA Foragers.  And if you know some friends who would be interested in joining, feel free to invite them!  Click to join.

News

This seems to be the consensus across the Northeastern United States:  maple sugaring season is delayed due to cold temperatures.

Life was certainly different for our hominid ancestors, though there is very little we know for sure.  One researcher from Georgia State University is providing insight into the foraging patterns that were utilized from 6 to 1.6 million years ago.  Now that’s a start!

Speaking of wild humans, here’s an interesting finding:  Energy expenditure is nearly indistinguishable between Hadza hunter-gatherers in East Africa and modernized Westerners of Europe and the United States.  Simply put, the amount of energy a person uses in the form of calories is approximately the same between highly active hunter-gatherers and sedentary domesticated humans.  How could that be?

It’s ubiquitous, it’s easy to gather, and it’s free.  Yes, we’re talking about snow.  While some people may despise it, others are eating it.  But could we also be eating trace amounts of sand, soot, formaldehyde, and mercury with every bite?  Check out this article to learn the best times and places to harvest quality snow.  (Sounds like a joke, but I assure you it’s not.)

Numerous organisms exhibit a trait known as bioluminescence.  In other words, they glow in the dark.  Researchers in Brazil are using LED-lit mushrooms to mimic this natural process, seeking to discover the true reasons behind this showy phenomenon. Check out this short and beautiful video to see it in action.

Blogs

A notable mycologist developed and patented a pesticide, derived from fungi, that offers a safe and effective solution for deterring over 200,000 species of insects.  And that notable mycologist just so happens to be Paul Stamets.  Check out Exopermaculture to learn more.

Arthur Haines, a distinguished botanist who runs the Delta Institute of Natural History in Maine, offers his perspective on what he calls the “core issue” – the problematic idea that humans view themselves as separate from all other life forms.  The solution?  You guessed it… foraging (among others).  Check out his blog to learn more.

Trichinosis from eating wild game… should we be worried?  Well, it depends.  Leave it to Hank Shaw to explain (and alleviate somewhat) the concerns regarding the Trichinella parasite in our wild meats, over at his blog – Hunter Angler Gardener Cook.

Winter foraging need not be all about the food.  Ted Manzer, a nature writer and teacher of agriculture in North Carolina, explains how he and his daughter experimented with making dyes using numerous winter plant species.  Very interesting read!

That’s it for this edition!  Thanks for reading!


Like what you’ve read?  Sign up below to receive notifications for new posts, and don’t forget to check out the Facebook (facebook.com/wildfoodism) and Twitter (twitter.com/wildfoodism) pages to learn more about wild food nutrition and identification!

Thank you!
Adam Haritan

adamheadshot3

Wild Food News And Links: Edition 3

frankforticiclesWelcome to the third edition of Wild Food News And Links!  The first two editions seemed to be appreciated by the readers, so here’s another one for all your learning pleasures.  It’s my intention to share recent, relevant, and riveting news from around the web pertaining to the wild food lifestyle.  If you discover news that may benefit the readers of Wild Foodism, please let me know so that it can be considered for a future edition.

News

It’s no secret that wild American ginseng populations have been declining.  One plant scientist, with the help of landowners, is working diligently to reverse this trend.

Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) has traditionally been used to treat liver disease and poisoning.  Exciting new research reveals that milk thistle may also be effective in treating brain tumors associated with Cushing’s syndrome.

When it comes to food, health, medicine, and economics, several communities in the Balkans turn to wild plants.

Prehistoric psychedelics:  New research shows that dinosaurs had access to ergot, a fungus that contains precursors for LSD.

If you’ve been following the mystery saga regarding the death of Chris McCandless (Into The Wild fame), you’ll know that it never ends.  Jon Krakauer, the author the book, has reached yet another conclusion regarding the potentially toxic fraction of Hedysarum alpinum – the plant associated with McCandless’ death.

Handy Resource

Native plants and birds go hand in hand.  The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has provided a great list of 5 berry-producing shrubs/trees to plant in order to attract our winged friends.  Note:  select your region on the left side of the screen.

Blogs

I was happy to contribute to this month’s edition of the Wild Edible Notebook, a highly informative monthly publication put out by my friend, Erica… aka Wild Food GirlIn it, I discuss 5 wild species that offer protection against the flu.  Also included is an article explaining how to create delicious wild food pies.  There’s even a thought-provoking commentary regarding wild ginseng and chaga sustainability written by Erica, and lots more!

Sure, there’s a lot of snow on the ground right now, and it’s mighty cold outside.  Just as day always follows night, spring will surely follow winter, which means grape leaves will be sprouting from their vines in no time.  Check out this great article over at Botanical Arts Press (aka Foraging & Feasting), which offers numerous tips on when to harvest, how to harvest, and how to stuff grape leaves.

It might be winter here in Pennsylvania, though it’s summer in Australia.  The Forager’s Year, an Australian wild food blog, has a great recipe for Purslane Saag using a variety of spices and wild greens.

For Fun

Check out these breathtaking photographs of frozen lakes, oceans, and ponds.  The title states that they look like art, though I would suggest that they are art.

That’s it for this edition!  Thanks for reading!


Like what you’ve read?  Sign up below to receive notifications for new posts, and don’t forget to check out the Facebook (facebook.com/wildfoodism) and Twitter (twitter.com/wildfoodism) pages to learn more about wild food nutrition and identification!

Thank you!
Adam Haritan

adamheadshot3

signinformwildfoodism

Wild Food News and Links: Edition 2

cookforestwinterwildfoodismWelcome to the second edition of Wild Food News And Links!  It’s my intention to share recent, relevant, and riveting news from around the web pertaining to the wild food lifestyle.  If you discover news that may benefit the readers of Wild Foodism, please let me know so that perhaps I can share it in a future edition.

Thank you!
-Adam Haritan

News

I’m getting pretty excited about this year’s maple sugaring season, and I’ll bet that more than a few of you are feeling that excitement, too.  Here are 12 interesting (random, maybe?) facts pertaining to maple sap and syrup that you may or may not have known.

A Pittsburgh native currently living in New York City is interviewed to discuss Los Angeles mushroom hunting (yes, he’s that good).  Of course, I am referring to none other than our hometown hero, Gary Lincoff.

If you’ve foraged in deciduous woodlands containing ash trees, you’ve most likely seen damage caused by the emerald ash borer.  New evidence shows that ash trees aren’t the only victims.  The white fringetree, a species native to the Eastern United States, appears to be the new target.

Let’s look to the oceans for wild medicine.  Venom from cone snails may hold promise in treating cancer and nicotine addiction.

Eat your invasives!  In the United States, non-native plants are much more widespread in their distribution compared to native plants, and it looks like the trend is only going to continue.

Speaking of invasives, at least one national park is using goats to improve the situation.

In case you were interested, crocodile bile may not be toxic after all.  Before you imbibe, however, know this:  Crocodile bile has been implicated in over 70 deaths at a recent Mozambique funeral.  Best to wait until the tests come back, I’d advise.

Milkweed is declining in numbers (thanks, conventional agriculture), and in an effort to protect the monarch butterfly’s habitat, concerned individuals are planting milkweed… the wrong kind of milkweed.  Read how this is actually causing more damage to the ecological balance, and what you can do to fix it.

Blogs

Bone broth made with wild medicinal mushrooms?  Yes, Three Lily Farm is taking it to the next level… and beyond.

I hope you haven’t eaten your entire stash of acorns just yet!  Hunger And Thirst shows us how to make acorn mole.

It’s a bit too early for cattail flowers, though oyster mushrooms can still be found here in western Pennsylvania.  In preparation for spring (or if you have flowers preserved), check out what The 3 Foragers are doing:  Cattail griddlecakes with fresh oyster mushrooms.

That’s it for this edition!  Thanks for reading!


Like what you’ve read?  Sign up below to receive notifications for new posts, and don’t forget to check out the Facebook (facebook.com/wildfoodism) and Twitter (twitter.com/wildfoodism) pages to learn more about wild food nutrition and identification!

Thank you!
Adam Haritan

adamheadshot3

signinformwildfoodism

Wild Food News and Links: Edition 1

ohiopylewildfoodismWelcome to the first edition of Wild Food News And Links!  It’s my intention to share recent, relevant, and riveting news from around the web pertaining to the wild food lifestyle.  If you discover news that may benefit the readers of Wild Foodism, please let me know so that perhaps I can share it in a future edition.

Thank you!
-Adam Haritan

News

There appears to be a link between maple seed production and maple syrup production. If that’s true, it looks like this year will be a mast year for maple sap.

Hope you preserved them from last year’s harvest:  Just one cup of blueberries a day can lower blood pressure in certain individuals, a new study suggests.

Sometimes it’s hard to imagine that corn – a species drastically distorted from its ancestral origins – was once indeed a wild organism.  New research offers clues as to how it arrived in the United States thousands of years ago.

Researchers have discovered that Artemisia annua, a plant native to Asia and naturalized throughout the world, lasts at least three times longer than its purified compound, artemisinin, against the malaria parasite.

If only we approached all our actions with the “Leave no trace” mentality:  Humans erode soil 100 times faster than nature.

Speaking of “Leave no trace,” what’s black carbon doing in our snow?  Could it be pollution from oil and agricultural practices?  Yes, yes it could be.

Out of approximately 85,000 species in the fungal kingdom, 65 are thought to be bioluminescent – meaning, they glow in the dark.  Here are several photographs capturing their beaming beauty.

Blogs

My friend, Erica, released her January edition of the Wild Edible Notebook – a beautifully designed, must-have monthly resource for foragers.  Check out her blog, Wild Food Girl, to see what it’s all about!

Hank Shaw shares his recipe for braised pheasant with mushrooms.

Winter foraging can introduce us to a variety of animal tracks.  Interested in learning whose tracks belong to whom?  Check out the Wildlife Tracking Walks that my friend, Janet Pesaturo, leads in Massachusetts.  Her blog, One Acre Farm, is an all-around great resource for wildlife enthusiasts of all types!

That’s it for this edition!  Thanks for reading!


Like what you’ve read?  Sign up below to receive notifications for new posts, and don’t forget to check out the Facebook (facebook.com/wildfoodism) and Twitter (twitter.com/wildfoodism) pages to learn more about wild food nutrition and identification!

Thank you!
Adam Haritan

adamheadshot3

signinformwildfoodism