Photo: Alan Muskat with Reishi mushrooms growing on a Hemlock.
I was immediately taken with Alan's desire to get people outside.
Alan Muskat is a fun, charismatic teacher of all things wild. "The strongest medicine is in the act of gathering the medicine," he says.
This May, I had the privilege of an adventure with Alan into the local mountains to collect some beautiful Reishi, Ganoderma tsugae. We found it growing on old Hemlock trunks. This adventure was good medicine indeed! I felt a kind of high from being around such old fungal beings. The weight of Reishi spores lingered in my nose and house for days, as the Reishi dried in strips.
Reishi is quite breathtaking; Alan suggests to clean them off with a little water for extra sparkle. As a result of this action, you can almost grasp the brilliance of these beauties in the photos.
The foraging culture around Asheville is old and rich with characters like Alan. Folks who live simply, eat wild things on a regular basis, and find a certain spiritual connection with the mountains and the plants. We will feature more of these fine folks in the future.
I wanted to start with Alan, because of his desire to share the craft of foraging. He and his team at No Taste Like Home take tours out into the woods to learn about and collect wild foods. At the end of the tour, you have an opportunity to bring the day's harvest to a local restaurant, where the chef will prepare your wild goodies into an appetizer. It's a wonderful experience for anyone wanting to get a literal taste of the wilds of Asheville and these amazing old mountains.
For more info check out this review.