Blog Post 14: Into the Forest we Go!

July was such an incredible month for mushrooms!  With all the rain that has been falling in the Capital Region the local mycelial webs have really flourished!  Many of our team actually found time to get into the woods and trails nearby and were able to find and forage lots of tasty edibles!

Amy pointing out some slime mold.

So far this year we’ve foraged chanterelles, chicken-of-the-woods, umbrella polypore, black trumpets, amanita jacksonii, old man of the woods, saffron milkies, and golden oysters.

Our second Music and Creativity Celebration with art and music curated by Bliss Arts NY was so much fun!  Despite the threat of rain nearly 100 guests came and enjoyed music by Jeanine Ouderkirk and John Colonna and an artist talk by Armando Soto.

Maria, Everett, Ania, and Avery.
Bob giving a tour of our show room grow room.
Armando Soto talking about his art.

On July 24th Armando Soto led a still life collage workshop using paper ranging from black through grey to white.

Collage Workshop.
Finished Pieces.

On Sunday, August 1st, We set up a booth at the first Radio_Radio_X River Street Expo in Troy.  We sold many of our dried and fresh mushrooms and made lots of mycelial connections!

Bree and Avery inadvertently dressed alike!

We have launched our line of salts, dried mushrooms, and powders, and we have nearly finished putting together our pre-packaged risotto kits and teas.

Powdered Lion’s Mane Supplements
Flavor of the Forest Sea salt.

Our team successfully cloned, fostered, and fruited our first wild oyster!  We nicknamed it “The Johhny Oyster”  as it was brought in by one of our Instagram friends named Hot Rail Johhny

  Nico enjoying his new oyster friend.

The Johhny in the wild

Our fresh mushrooms are now being carried daily in Glenmont at Kleinke’s farm on Kenwood Ave.  Every week we deliver a new supply!  They have a variety of fresh vegetables, pies, meats, and flowers.

https://www.facebook.com/kleinkesfarm/?ref=bookmarks

Ryan Kitchen, owner and operator of Kleinke’s Farm

The Delmar Bistro at 180 Delaware Ave has also allowed us a table from 3pm – 5pm every Tuesday to peddle our wares!  They have a variety of offerings on their menu with regularly changing specials!  

https://thedelmarbistro.weebly.com/

Our products at The Delmar Bistro

The Albany Victory Garden’s compost piles have turned into an actual mushroom cornucopia!  They have been taking our third flush blocks in order to mycoremediate some urban plots into arable soil and garden space for the Albany neighborhoods they are in.  The gardeners and residents have begun to recognize the different species and have been harvesting them for food!

Pink Oysters in the compost pile!

Mushroom of Month:

Umbrella polypore (Polyporus umbellatus)

The discovery!
Umbrella Polypore

This incredibly delicious mushroom delighted our tastebuds!  Starting out with some light fruity / apricot-ish notes and finishing with an anise flavor leaving the impression of a sausage.  It wasn’t very big, but we tried to spread it around to some of our favorite local mycophiles!  This specimen was the first umbrella polypore anyone on our team had ever found. We cooked it super simple to really get the flavor of the fungi first, a little butter, salt and pepper.  Next, we made a dish with fennel and roasted potatoes that really accentuated the flavor profile of this amazing mushroom!

EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH:

Stella Longthon making Grain Bags!

COMING UP:

August 8th: Psychedelic Sundaze tie dye event with DJ Stark Raving Mod!  Free to hang out, tie dye costs $5 (added cost for a plain white T)

We are now the home for the long running Second Sunday at 2 poetry and prose open mic hosted by Nancy Klepsch and Dan Wilcox.  Every Second Sunday of the month (at 2pm), starting August 8th.  Mushroom Tea and snacks will be available.

Thursday, August 19th, join poet Julia Soto Lebentritt and artist / poet Armando Soto for a print launch.  Two of Armando’s paintings will be available as limited edition print runs, and if it is successful, we will be making prints of 2 additional paintings. 6pm – 8pm.

https://fb.me/e/1e2XkUoyT

Our first primordia play time will be Thursday, August  26th at 11am.  Bring your little ones, ages 6 and under for an hour long (ish) story time and mycology exploration.  We’ll use letter-paper sized bright photos to identify some common parts of mushrooms, read a fun story, and play a group game!  Start your budding young mycologist off right with some free fungi fun! Iced Mushroom tea will be available for the accompanying adults by donation. 

Alphie checking out some Cinnamon Caps

In collaboration with Ground Up Apothecary we will be launching a line of mushroom infused skin care products.  Called “of the Forest,”

 We will have a lotion, a body butter, a face mask, and a body scrub.  All of our test participants have raved about them!  They include sundried shiitake, lion’s mane, oyster varieties, chaga, and reishi mushroom powders.  Check out this article to see a few of the benefits from using mushrooms as a topical:  

https://coveteur.com/2020/08/03/mushrooms-skincare-benefits/

We’ve added a few more restaurant clients including Indian Ladder Farms, Subculture, and Dinner Thyme by Chef Larry so you’ll be able to get meals from them featuring our mushrooms.

MUSHROOMS IN THE NEWS:

Paul Stamets’ interview with Scientific American about Astromycology:  yes, MUSHROOMS IN SPACE!!

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/space-travels-most-surprising-future-ingredient-mushrooms/

The Fantastic Fungi Documentary is up on Netflix.  This incredible documentary details the workings of mycelium and has some incredible animations and time lapse segments, very much worth the watch!

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