February 2016

“2016 Winter California Foray and a Big Contest (Extended)!”

2016 Winter California Foray

We were so lucky with the weather. It literally rained every day except a sunny day for the foray and a brief break during the feast, (the misty rain ended just in time for me to begin cooking, and light rain began as we were cleaning up!!)

If you have yet to attend a foray- WARNING: It is addictive because we have too much fun and excitement, meeting new friends, learning new species, incredible food, and unlimited supply of mushrooms! See the $1000 giveaway below:

Big Prize for new Foray Registrations!!

I am offering one prize valued at $1000 for a LIFETIME FORAY MEMBERSHIP! Anyone who registers for a 2017 foray between now and March 15th is automatically entered into the contest! I will announce the winner in the April newsletter! Whoever wins will be able to attend any foray in the US that I offer, and as many each year as you like, for LIFE!

View Upcoming Forays

My Two New Books are out!

250-edible-mushroom-bookcover As many of you know, I have been writing a book entitled “250 of the most Common Edible and Medicinal Mushrooms”. Levena and I have also been working on our SECOND Cookbook and it is also now available.

The first of the 250 edible book will give simple instructions of identification, and then show detailed info on the top 10 poisonous mushrooms. I want you to learn them first, then go onto the edible portion.

Here is a small excerpt from the book:

Chapter 3. Top 10 Poisonous Mushrooms

I want to start off with the most common poisonous mushrooms first. Learn them and get to know them well, and the worst mistake you could make won’t end your mushroom hunting endeavors!

Amanita phalloides commonly known as the death-cap, and is a deadly poisonous mushroom, one of many in the genus Amanita. The large fruiting bodies (mushrooms) appear in summer and autumn; the caps are generally greenish in color, with a white stem and gills.

Coincidentally, these toxic mushrooms resemble several edible species (most notably caesar’s mushroom and the straw mushroom) commonly consumed by humans, increasing the risk of accidental poisoning. A. phalloides is one of the most poisonous of all known toadstools. It has been involved in the majority of human deaths from mushroom poisoning, possibly including the deaths of Roman Emperor Claudius and Holy Roman Empire Charles VI. It has been the subject of much research, and many of its biologically active agents have been isolated. The principal toxic constituent is amanitin, which damages the liver and kidneys, often fatally.

The death cap has a large fruiting body, usually with a cap from 2–6 in across, initially rounded but flattening with age. The color of the cap can be pale-yellowish or olive-green, often paler toward the margins and often paler after rain. The cap surface is sticky when wet. The remains of the partial veil are seen as a skirt-like, floppy annulus usually about (0.4–0.6 in) below the cap. The crowded white gills are free. The stem is white with a scattering of grayish-olive scales and is (3–6 in) long and (3/8–3/4 in) thick, with a swollen, ragged, sac-like white volva base. As the volva, which may be hidden by leaf litter, is a distinctive and diagnostic feature, it is important to remove some debris to check for it.

The smell has been described as initially faint and honey-sweet but strengthening over time to become overpowering, sickly-sweet and objectionable. Young specimens first emerge from the ground resembling a white egg covered by a universal veil, which then breaks, leaving the volva as a remnant. The spore print is white, a common feature of Amanita.

As the common name suggests, the fungus is highly toxic, and it is responsible for the majority of fatal mushroom poisonings worldwide. Its biochemistry has been researched intensively for decades, and it is estimated that 30 grams (1 oz), or half a cap, of this mushroom is enough to kill a human.

Recent cases highlight the issue of the similarity of A. phalloides to the edible paddy straw mushroom, Volvariella volvacea, with east and southeast-Asian immigrants from the west coast of the United States falling victim. The photos below show the edible Volvariella on the left and Tricholoma , (man-on-horseback) on the right, (which has the same greenish-yellow cap colors).

Novices may mistake juvenile death-caps for edible puffballs or mature specimens for other edible Amanita species such as Amanita lanei, and for this reason I recommend avoiding the collecting of Amanita species for the table altogether unless you are with a professional mycologist.

Death-caps have been reported to taste pleasant. This, coupled with the delay in the appearance of symptoms—during which time internal organs are being severely, sometimes irreparably, damaged—makes it particularly dangerous. Initially, symptoms are gastrointestinal in nature and include abdominal pain, with watery diarrhea and vomiting. These first symptoms resolve two to three days after the ingestion. Death generally occurs six to sixteen days after the poisoning. Up to the mid-20th century, the mortality rate was around 60–70 this has fallen further in more recent surveys to around 10–15%. Consumption of the death cap is a medical emergency requiring hospitalization and may require a liver transplant.

Chapter 6. Fall Mushrooms

Here is an example of one of the 250 edible mushrooms book:
Mushrooms found growing usually in yards and grassy areas:

Shaggy Mane

(Coprinus comatus) Difficulty Factor: 3

Spore Print: Black

Gills: Free from stem. White then becoming pink and finally black and turning to “ink” within a couple days.

Preservation: Can be dried with plenty of airflow.

Flesh: White and soft.

Special Notes: Only use the youngest buttons not yet showing the gills. They need immediate use because they dissipate rapidly. You may be able to store for a short period of time if you refrigerate and store inside a Ziploc bag filled with ice and water, making sure there is not air inside. Oxygen makes them turn to ink.

10-28-15g2Shaggy Manes are a fairly common fall mushroom and found more frequently north of the Georgia state line and all of the western states. They have a great mushroom flavor and good to use in soups, sauces, and pasta. You can also bread them and deep fry and dip in Ranch Dressing. You can occasionally find them in the springtime in the western states, especially along roadsides as are the ones in the photo above.

I will be showing all full-color photos. Most field guides have just one photo example of each mushroom. In my book, there will be multiple photos to show you variances, and different stages of growth. There is a highlighted quick reference guide in blue that gives you a quick run down. It also has the most detailed and extensive mushroom term glossary ever! I will also have a compact smaller version to take with you to the woods that will give you the top 25 wild edibles, a quick run-down of how to hunt them, how to harvest, how to cook, and what is the best way to preserve them. I break them down by season and then by where they grow.

This book is quite more extensive then my Morel-Secrets book and sells for $68.95 with nearly 500 pages and over 1000 full color photos.


Or Call me at (478)217-5200 to Order your signed copy!

Living off the Land

Our 2nd cookbook is packed with numerous new recipes, and many requests that we have had over the past few years to include in it. It shows each step in the cooking process, not just a finished dish like most cookbooks. This allows you to succeed even with the most difficult dishes! Here are a couple examples:

Chapter 2. Appetizers, Sides and Small Plates

Black Trumpet and Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Shallots
Black Trumpet and Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Shallots
View the Recipe

Here is one more example:

Hen-of-the-Woods Cornbread Stuffing
Hen-of-the-Woods Cornbread Stuffing

View the Recipe

Again, a full-color book, and sells for $38.95.


Or Call me at (478)217-5200 to Order your signed copy!

2017 Morel Calendar and other Great Gifts


I also have a 2017 Morel Calendar now available with this year’s best photos that I took during the spring morel forays! Get your 2017 calendar for just $17.95 by calling me.


Get your 2017 calendar for just $17.95 by calling me at (478) 217-5200



Mushroom Hunting Foray
Call me and Register for a foray before November 1st and get a free club membership! I have extended this until then! Many are filling up so don’t delay! 478-318-2794

View Upcoming Forays

I also opened an Etsy shop:

etsy-thumbLifetime foray memberships-
I am trying to raise cash flow to restock all of my products, mesh bags, walking sticks, books, etc. I also am writing two new books and I self publish. It takes a lot of cash flow to get all of this done. I am still offering a huge discount on lifetime foray memberships! Attend any foray you like, as many as you like each year for life! On my website I have this listed as $1895 per person, I am offering it now for just $1000 for one or $1500 for a couple! My lifetimers have become my huge extended family, many of which have become close friends with and have went on special trips with or even stayed at their home and hunted! Don’t miss out on this huge savings! I even offer payment plans for these! Call me today- 478 217-5200

Visit Etsy shop


Quick Interesting Note:

It is Springtime in South America and Morels are just now popping!

The above Black Morels were recently found in Chile!!

Happy Hunting!!!! -Chris M

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