Nature's Bounty

Morel - Mushroom

With the melting snow each spring, wild edibles begin to emerge from HSC’s 35,000 plus acres. Our land produces a wide variety of mushrooms, berries and other natural foods that delight club foragers. Foraging can be an individual activity with an opportunity to quietly enjoy nature up close or as part of an enjoyable group outing. Either way, you’ll seldom go unrewarded.
 

Mushrooms

Some of the first, and most prized, mushrooms are Morels which generally appear in May. Their color can vary from white to yellow/tan to black. Look for them in moist woodlands containing Poplar or Aspen trees, abandoned woodlots, or near old fruit trees. Other edible mushrooms common to HSC include Puffballs, Oyster, and the Chicken of the Woods. All mushrooms can be easily confused with non-edible poisonous varieties, so care should be taken in harvesting and preparing. A comprehensive guide to mushrooms is indispensible.

Berries

Most years blueberries (also known as Huckleberries), followed closely by blackberries, are the most abundant berries on the club. These two are, in fact, so abundant that during their peak seasons, generally from mid July to mid August, a member has an extremely difficult time not finding them. Both make fantastic jams, jellies and pie fillings and can be collected by the gallon often without leaving a single patch. Blueberries tend to be most prevalent in sandy soil areas that receive significant sun. Look for Blackberries along club trails and in areas that were timbered in the last several years. Red raspberries are also in good supply, primarily in northern sections of the club, and enjoy the same areas as Blackberries but are not as widely distributed. Less common berries, such as Elderberries and Nannyberries have an even more limited range but are still abundant enough to gather.

Blueberries

Other Foods

Mountain Ash Berries and Choke Cherries typically can be found by the treeful from late summer into early fall, before the first hard frost. Often a single tree will supply all that you would want each season. Both make excellent juices, jams, jellies and even wine! Hardcore foragers will also find cattails, acorns, beech nuts, chamomile and red clover for added variety.


So, no matter what your natural food of choice may be, rest assured that HSC offers an abundant variety in a quiet and scenic setting. Nature’s organic bounty awaits club members, without the crowds and, best of all, for free.