Take a Hike Day
Categories: Food & Nutrition
“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.”
It’s Take a Hike Day! Here at North Atlantic Books, we can’t think of a better way to celebrate than foraging for wild plants and mushrooms. With the return of rain this coming winter, the season for mushrooms is just beginning. Below we’ve curated a list of edible plants and mushrooms you’ll likely find as you take to trails and explore the wilderness around you.
For more information, check out Wild Edibles by Sergei Boutenko.
Family Name: Asteraceae/Aster Family
While Burdock has fallen out of favor in Europe and North America, it is still widely cultivated and enjoyed in many Asian countries. Burdock is a biennial, and the the best time to harvest the root is in the fall of the first year. For a hearty meal, add burdock to any medley of roasted root vegetables.
Family Name: Rosaceae/Rose Family
Harvest: Late fall after frost
While other wild edibles are scarce in fall and winter, rose hips are just beginning to ripen. These bright red fruits are delicious and a perfect wintertime delicacy rich in vitamin C. Collect and dry for teas or process into jam.
Hydnum repandum and H. umbilicatum
Family Name: Hydnaceae
Harvest: Late fall
Hedgehog mushrooms grow in abundance through late fall. Look for them around hardwoods such as birch and beech. They are easy mushrooms to identify because they have teeth instead of gills on the underside of the cap. Described as a white wine mushroom, hedgehogs are delicious sautéed or they can be dried and stored.
Pleurotus ostreatus, P. populinus, and Others
Family Name: Pleurotaceae
Harvest: Fall, up to and through December
You’ll recognize this one from the supermarket shelves, but oyster mushrooms have a wide range across North America and can easily be harvested. Look for them through December growing on sugar maples and other hardwoods like birch and beech. Since oyster mushrooms don’t dry well, enjoy them fresh in sautés or battered and fried.