Hen of the Woods Bumper Harvest
In the NorthEast, Maitake or Hen of the Woods (Grifola frondosa) fruits in the Fall when temperatures drop into the 50s. I like to think of the them as the analogue to the Spring Morels- which need 50 degree soil temps to fruit. This year was exceptional. We developed several new pristine foraging spots in woodlots that had oak patch cuts about 5-10 years ago, where we encountered 65 pounds of the great Dancing Mushroom! The woods were also loaded with Bricktops (Hypholoma sublateritium) and Beefsteak (Fistulina hepatica).
Hen of the Woods fruits mostly from Red and Black oak here, and is almost always found near the base of the tree or fruiting from the underground root zone. We dried alot of our harvest for medicinal powder which can be added to soups and stirfry- basically any meal that will be heated, which will 'activate' the powder and make it more bioavaialble. Maitake powder will be available through FHM in varying quantities, just contact us!
Mason jars of dried Maitake
Tim with the some of the Motherload