I recently had the opportunity to head into the beautiful Shedandoah area of Virginia and romp around on some farm lands, breweries, and vineyard in search of wild edibles. Muse Vineyard and Swover Creek Farm and Brewery invited me through my friend Anthony to come see what they had growing on their property. Unfortunately the answer was "nothing yet". I know, it seems like I've been saying that they'll be here any day now, but seeing as I was up 1300 ft up in elevation their season is a little delayed (we did find several varieties of edible plants, and some Crown tipped coral mushroom though) . However I did find some promising areas and after getting to know my hosts a little we hatched a plan to have a foraging/farm dinner put on by none other than Heritage Foraging. So keep an eye on the chalkboard for details on when and where that's happening. One is already firmed up for the 28th of July.
Even though I didn't find many edible mushrooms at 1300 ft, at 300 ft SUMMER MUSHROOMS HAVE ARRIVED!! My sous chef and protege Marc made his first Chanterelle, Cinnabar and Milky Cap find today! Very exciting for both of us! Seeing as Chanterelles were my first find and the mushroom that kicked all of this off it was very nostalgic for me. I warned him, "Once you find your first mushroom your life will be forever changed". His first was a Morels...and pounds and pounds of them too! Ahh nothing ever quite compares to your first time. He's going to be chasing that Morel dragon his whole life.
But I digress. The Chanterelle season is afoot! Last year the season for summer mushrooms was cut short from lack of rain. In fact, mid summer once the rain stopped no more mushrooms grew that year. So I'm hoping that this year the rains will carry on regularly through the fall. I want Maitakes this year dammit! Since this is just the start of Chanterelle and mushroom season I'm hoping to find several varieties this year to share with you all! Until then here's a few pic we took today!