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Wild-Foraged Oyster Mushrooms

I've always wanted to forage for wild mushrooms, but have been hesitant to do so with just information gleaned from the internet because the risk to reward of a really good tasting mushroom versus a mouthful of neurotoxin is too asymmetric for me.  However, today while hiking in the Berkeley Hills, Christy and I were lucky enough to run into someone collecting oyster mushrooms from some rotting logs.  He turns out to be a member of the Mycological Society of San Francisco and helps with their annual Fungus Fairs, and so was eager to help us identify more oyster mushrooms and death caps, which have recently caused some illness near us. We collected the oyster mushrooms shown here, and I sauteed them with a little bit of butter, salt, and pepper for dinner.  They were fresh, earthy, and tasty!

Topic by ewilhelm    |  last reply


Neighborhood Fruit now has an iPhone app

Neighborhood Fruit has just released an app for the iPhone called Find Fruit. With it you can find free fruit in your area when it's in season. If you want to start foraging for free food, this is a great way to get started. Link

Topic by fungus amungus    |  last reply


4.4-million-year-old fossil could reshape human origins - Ardi

By Dan Vergano, USA TODAYThe nearly complete fossil of a 4.4-million-year-old human ancestor, a female dubbed "Ardi," is rewriting the story of human origins, paleontologists reported Thursday.The analysis of Ardipithecus ramidus (it means "root of the ground ape"), reported in the journal Science, changes the notion that humans and chimps, our closest genetic cousins, both trace their lineage to a creature that was more like today's chimp. Rather, the research suggests that their common ancestor was a walking forest forager...More at USA Today Site - Discoveries

Topic by Goodhart    |  last reply


CrowCam - Video camera taped to a crow

I was reading an article on attaching cameras to wildlife (Clipped to a Shark's Fin, Collared to a Bear or Attached to a Crow's Tail, Wildlife Cameras Come of Age in BioPhotonics) that mentioned cameras light enough to adhere to birds, specifically crows.Check out this video of a crow flying, foraging, and using tools all from a tailfeather-perspective:http://users.ox.ac.uk/~kgroup/tools/movies/crowcamS3.mov(Let me know if you find an embedded version)The work was done by a group at the University of Oxford and published in Science late last year:Video Cameras on Wild BirdsThere's also a nice NPR piece on the subject here:Crow Cam Captures Creative Behavior in the WildI find crows to be one of the most interesting urban animals, and I love how this video lets me voyeuristically peer in on their antics. Which animals would you watch?

Topic by ewilhelm    |  last reply


Build PV solar panels from broken solar cells

The sun's energy may be free, but solar panels can be quite expensive.  Still hoping to get off the grid? VIRON has a great Instructable, How to make PV solar panels, teaching how to make your own from broken or surplus solar cells! From the introduction: In essence, this involves ways to connect cells, which may produce more or less than one volt, and not only try to increase power output but also decrease the load, that is, efficiently conserve the energy whether it is meager or significant. For example, even the weakest solar panels can run watches, calculators, radios, charge batteries, and if a computer were specifically designed to, it would be as solar-powerable as a calculator. Check out the Instructable for info on finding and foraging usable solar cells, instructions on preparing different types of broken cells, tips for getting more power out of your panel, and instructions for wiring the whole thing up to power your devices. Inspired? Planning to try piecing your own solar panels?  Already off the grid, and planning something even better?  If you do, be sure to post an Instructable so the rest of us can learn something new. This post has been sponsored by Pepsi. The Pepsi Refresh Project celebrates the people, businesses, and non-profits with ideas that will have a positive effect on our world.

Topic by canida    |  last reply


Percent grass in the diet of cows producing grass-fed butter available around the San Francisco Bay Area

I eat a lot of butter. It is my primary cooking fat, I'll often drink butter tea for breakfast (~4 TBSP of butter with herbal or green tea, riffing off of Tibetan tea), and sometimes I'll just eat a few pats or feed a few pats to my kids when they're starving and dinner isn't quite ready. I believe butter can be a very high quality food, and I feel great eating lots of it.  I want to eat butter that is exclusively, or at least primarily, made from cows eating grass; not grain. I asked the producers of several types of butter available in my local market what percentage of their cows' diet was grass. Here are their responses: Berkeley Farms Cows are grass-fed on pasture whenever possible, but feed can vary given conditions.  They are also fed alfalfa and grain. Kerrygold From website: "The vast majority of an Irish cow’s diet is from rich, natural grass which grows abundantly in Ireland. Irish dairy cows graze outdoors on grass all day long for up to 312 days a year ... During the winter, when grasses stop growing, Irish cows are fed dried grass (known as silage) ... After calving, cows are provided with supplementary feed to help restore protein and nurture them through this period ... The majority of our cows’ supplementary feed is locally grown crops such as wheat and barley." Organic Valley Cows are primarily grass-fed on pasture, but they do receive supplemental feedings of grain. Sierra Nevada Cheese Company Cows are not exclusively grass-fed; they are also fed grain. Straus Family Creamery Our cows are pasture-fed and are certified organic. Whenever the weather permits, they spend their time out on pasture, grazing on the rich, sweet grasses that are typical for Marin and Sonoma Counties in Northern California. Their diet consists of about 75-80% forages, which include fresh grasses, silage and hay. The other 20-25% consists of a variety of certified organic grains.

Topic by ewilhelm    |  last reply