Foraging Fun: Flammulina velutipes

Judging from the featured photo above you probably wouldn’t believe me if I were to tell you that these are ekokitake mushrooms, the exact same species as can be found in a wide variety of traditional east Asian dishes. However, I am most certainly not in any position here as an educator of sorts to be misleading anyone, especially when it comes to wild mushrooms, as there is a very good reason for that. The above photo depicts that average habit of wild enokitake and not the cultivated form. Allow me to explain.. (more…)


Wild Ethnobotany – March 29th

The first Wild Ethnobotany guided hike was, despite the -30 degree windchill, an absolute success with a dozen brave souls venturing out to join me as we walked the snowy, windswept trails of Princess Point along Cootes Paradise. We sampled highbush cranberries, European black alder catkins and staghorn sumac berries, learned about the life cycles and medicinal properties of burdock and motherwort as well as received a lecture on the significance of oak savannah (one of the most endangered culturally modified ecosystems in the world) and how the historical land use practices of North America’s first people provide examples in ecology and community planning and for building sustainable and human-friendly landscapes in the future. (more…)

DIY Home Brewing: January 25th @ The Tower

Happy 2015 everyone! In the spirit of the new year and just to keep everyone on their toes, I decided this time around to switch things up a bit and talk about something that I have known how to do for quite a while but have never delivered as a topic as part of my workshop series on self-sustainability and all other things cool and hip. I have been brewing my own specialty herbal healing beers and mead (honey wine) for a few years now and, like many different predominately industrial/commercial-scale processes, have realized that the only reason most ordinary folks haven’t tried home fermentation out for themselves is primarily due to a lack of advocacy and accessible information on these surprisingly simple techniques and procedures.

Just like my previous workshop on DIY mushroom cultivation, this workshop will be held at The Tower (a public community/learning center of sorts) located at 128 Cannon St. East in Hamilton on January 25th, 2-3:30pm. For more information on The Tower, you can check out their Facebook page right here or their official website here. Here is a link to the Facebook event page for the workshop but you can also contact me through my e-mail address (listed below) to RSVP if you haven’t signed yourself over to the world of Facebook. A suggested donation of $5-10 to help cover the costs associated with gathering the necessary materials and equipment, advertising and preparation for and delivering the information would be greatly appreciated but no one interested in learning will be turned down regarding a lack of funds. I’ll probably be talking for approximately an hour and will then stick around for a half our or so for some open conversation regarding home brewing or any sort of related subject matter in addition to answering any questions or concerns, either as a group or one-on-one. If you would like to know something before the workshop date or to RSVP then feel free to get a hold of me at