Foraging Chaga Mushrooms

One thing we strive to do at Cannalife Botanicals is grow as many of our ingredients as we can. We’re also blessed to have an amazing production manager, Jamie, who is our foraging guru and goes out into the woods surrounding our hometown to find ingredients like the Chaga Mushroom we use for our CBD Chaga Cacao Tincture and Devil’s Club, which is added to our cannabis-free pain relief product, Jointment, from our sister-line, Luna Vida Botanica.

 

The following was written by Jamie, our production manager, about his foraging experiences:

“Mornings always start so early, yet today something is different.  As I gather the leash and bags for my morning dog walk I hear it.  It’s subtle but constant.  It’s RAIN.  Glorious rain.  I had almost forgotten my old wet friend with all the smoke and heat we had this summer, but like all good things the rain is part of life, especially here in Squamish.  Now I adjust the wardrobe for a wet walk and my four legged companion and I head out into the wetness.  A subtle smile adorns my face as I realize this is the start of my most excitable time of year.  Mushroom season in Squamish and the Sea to Sky Corridor!  All year I wait patiently for fleshy, spore bearing fruit to start pushing up through the soft moss coated grounds of old growth conifer forests.  

Now the time is upon us, both Charlie (my dog and mush-roaming companion) and I slip into the car and drive to our favorite spots to walk, pick and generally explore the forests around us here in this most amazing space we call home.  What started out as something new to learn has become somewhat of a lifestyle for me and my family here.  Even my wife and 6 month old son Eli have been out picking with me this year.  Like all the other years we leave each and every outing with mushrooms in our bags and smiles on our faces.  There is something very satisfying about foraging food in the forest.  Excitement and a nourishing meal mixed together makes for a great time.


I didn’t always come home with mushrooms after every outing, but as I have learned where and what to look for especially concerning terrain we find ourselves always with a couple at the least.  I have learned about a dozen varieties of mushrooms (not all edible) that I can positively identify in the field and I actively strive to learn a new one each year.  Mostly it’s choice edibles I forage.  Gold and White Chanterelles, Boletus Mirabilis, Lobster and the Matsutake (Pine) are all prime suspects to my days of foraging.  Probably only 25% of what I find is edible.  The rest I leave, photograph and log for future picks.  A lot of times even edibles I leave if I feel I will not give them the respect they deserve so someone else can.  This year I turn to medicinal uses for mushrooms and hoping to expand that into dyes from mushrooms as well.  There is a lot to learn and it’ll take time.  I’m ready, giving up is not in my vocabulary.

A lot of people ask me about mushrooms and want to know where to go and what to look for.  What I can tell you is this.  If you don’t go out and look you will never find anything.  We all have to start somewhere; the information is out there for everyone. So go out and enjoy yourself, you may just find something edible along the way.”

Jamie started finding and foraging Chaga in the woods (pictured above) and helped us create our infamous CBD Chaga Cacao Tincture. We think this fungi is pure magic and are so happy to have the opportunity to work with someone who knows and respects the land and has the knowledge to gather sacred medicine. More Cannalife magic to come!
*We honour that our natural medicine is gathered from the unceded territory of the Skwxwu7mesh (Squamish) Nation.

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