My first encounter in the forest was a colony of
mushrooms that were growing on a downed, dead
Hemlock tree on a friend's property at the lake. As
soon as I saw them, I jumped with delight because
I knew that they were Reishi mushrooms which are
prized for their medicinal value. Though these Reishis
were small, they were mature and ready for harvest.
Young Reishis are tender and can be eaten by slicing
thinly and sauteeing. They can also be made into a tea
or tincture to be used medicinally. Within the last decade
Reishi mushrooms have increased in popularity which is
evidenced by the now numerous Reishi products that are
currently on the market.

After seeking permission from my friends, I harvested
the above 'baby' Reishis as soon as possible, since
slugs were already beginning to feast on them. As it
turned out, the slugs rendered the Reishis useless.
In a few short days they rotted and had to be thrown out.
Thus early on in 'shrooming' I learned a cardinal rule:
harvest your find(s) quickly before someone or
something else beats you to it!

Continue on...