Enthralling Seductive Powerful Amanita Muscaria The Regal Fly Agaric Mushroom

https://www.instagram.com/reel/Chw2yttLeZ1/?utm_source=ig_web_button_share_sheet

I made a gorgeous reel of shots and images and moments with this mushroom, click the link above to see it.

An ode to the all powerful and beautiful Amanita muscaria Fly Agaric. 🍄🍄🍄🍄🍄🍄🍄🍄

An absolute favourite of mine. A stunning creature to behold, she takes my breath away every time I am lucky enough to happen upon her.

She’s seductively enthralling, beautiful and powerful.

A mushroom that is many things: toxic, shamanic, an entheogen, a powerful effective external remedy for pain, amongst many other effective remedies as well, a delicious food once detoxified, and more than anything just enthralling to behold.

Learn more about this mushroom in a full day workshop- there are 2 formats coming up soon:

A full day intensive wild food and medicine exploration into the food, medicine and magic of Fly Agaric with myself and @fergustheforager both in Ireland and the UK.

And my Fly Agaric workshop based in Wicklow, Ireland. There are a few dates of both options coming up, but places fill up fast!

Please note: of course we don’t offer shamanic experiences of this mushroom. We do dispel the myths and fears and share many stories, mythologies, facts from fiction, art, food and medicine.

Don’t miss out if you’re interested. Booking links are here: https://hipsandhawswildcrafts.clr.events/

flyagaric #amanitamuscaria #mushroom #fungi #herbalmedicine #hipsandhaws #courtneytyler #ireland #wicklow #wildfood #herbalmedicine

Books you should have: Radical Mycology by Peter McCoy

It took me awhile to get my hands on this book. First of all it was expensive and then after that, it was even harder to find online! I’m in Europe and it just seemed unusually difficult to get a hold of.

I bit the bullet and after many hours found a valid link and invested in this book. When it arrived I squealed in delight. It’s a substantial tome and well worth the cost. Chock full of all the ways of “Seeing and Working with Fungi” it is a reference that you should not be without!

I haven’t read the book cover to cover; it’s a big book and very easy to dip in and out of chapters that most interest you.

Imagine my delight when Peter himself messaged me on Instagram to invite me to propose some workshop ideas for the Radical Mycology Convergence in Portland, Oregon in October 2022. And my absolute delight when these were accepted and I was being flown to Oregon to participate!

Anyhow, back to the book. The publishers are offering a short window for a discount on this incredible book. Here’s the link to buy the book. The shipping prices to Europe are still cringe-worthy, but I was comforted that the book is absolutely massive and very heavy. I bought it as a birthday present to myself (which we should all do more of:)

Very honoured to participate this this years RADICAL MYCOLOGY CONVERGENCE in Portland, Oregon, USA October 2023

Radical Mycology Convergence Oct 2023 Courtney Tyler – view my bio here: https://radicalmycologyconvergence.com/pages/teacher-bios

I am excited to announce I will be presenting this October at the Radical Mycology Convergence (@radmycology).

I will be offering 2 workshops: Medicinal Mushroom Extracts and Mushroom Coffee.

I’m also extremely honoured to be on the Medicinal Mushroom Panel and at this event with teachers I so respect and have learned so much from such as @radmycology Peter McCoy, @christopherhobbs1 , Robert Rogers, Kevin Feeney, William Rubel, @amanitadreaming and so many others!

You can learn more about this special event at radicalmycologyconvergence.com#radicalmycology#rmc2022

#fungi#wildmushrooms#medicinalmushrooms#mushroomcoffee#herbalmedicine#foraging#wildfood#wildfungi#mushrooms

You can view the full schedule of workshops here: https://radicalmycologyconvergence.com/pages/workshops

Thank you Peter for this opportunity of a lifetime. I couldn’t dream up a better mushroom festival offering than this! I am very honoured to take part! And excitedly checking the schedule for all of the workshops that I also hope to attend!

Nature Altar at Body and Soul Music Festival

I was invited to create and display a nature altar at this years Body and Soul festival.

It was an honour and a pleasure and I would like to do more of such things.

Michael and I created a simple display that was held in the John Hopkins geodesic dome in the Sanctuary. There were many offerings in there over the weekend, including yoga and some meditative sessions with psychedelic music, so the altar we created was perfect for the space.

We joined some hazel rods to make a tripod and attached a cut willow stand to the top of it. We affixed a collection of peacock feathers and dried poppy heads to the ends of the willow, so it reached high up into the skies, about 12 feet high.

We had a collection of my animal skulls, and found dried fungus, feathers, antlers, leaves, flowers, shells and pinecones to adorn the altar.

With the dome background (and the yoga mats in situ) it was difficult to get a clear shot of the piece, but you get the idea, and I’ve shared some of the components here as I enjoyed both the colour and textures of these natural items.

Please contact me if you would like to commission me to create something like this for your space or event.

Thank you to Avril, Jessie and Nicola for giving me this opportunity!

Radical Mycology Convergence October 2022 Oregon

Have been asked if I would like to apply to offer any workshops at the Radical Mycology Convergence in Oregon from 6-9 October 2022.

I am filling out my proposal now as we speak. Very honoured to be invited and eeeek, feeling thrilled at the prospect of attending such an event!

Radical Mycology @radmycology and the work of Peter McCoy is one of the most inspiring and comprehensive books I have come across.

More information at the event website here: https://radicalmycologyconvergence.com

Courtney’s Mushroom Talk at Beyond the Pale Music Festival June 2022

Was delighted to be invited to the Wicklow music festival Beyond The Pale and to talk on stage with Ali Dunworth about, what else, mushrooms (!) and all of the ways that they are magical. And why they should be on your plate!

Courtney Tyler of Hips and Haws Wildcrafts and Ali Dunworth

It was so enjoyable and what an incredible festival. The music line up was incredible.

Courtney showing tasters to share, pickled mushrooms and mushroom chocolates

I brought some interesting mushroom tasters to share. Some balsamic pickled shiitake mushrooms, dandelion buds and wild garlic. Also made some Lion’s Mane and peanut butter dark chocolates.

Dei, Dearbhla, Courtney and Grainne

Best of all I got to bring Sadhbh the bus and my dearest girlfriends!

Learn about Medicinal Mushrooms 16 July 2022 with Courtney Tyler and Michael White, Co Wicklow, Ireland

I am so happy to report that we will be offering another full day intensive workshop where we will explore medicinal mushrooms in depth. We will make medicine together to bring home with you. We will share a full day together in the beautiful space in a very special venue in Blessington, Co Wicklow, Ireland.

Saturday 16 July 2022 from 1030-1600. Click here to book your place.

Join us in this intensive medicinal mushroom full day workshop for a fascinating exploration into the diverse and mysterious world of fungi! Together we will explore the many ways that you can incorporate mushrooms into your life as various medicinal preparations and as delicious food. 

We will: -Study and learn about 10 species of medicinal mushrooms, half of which grow wild in abundance around us in Ireland/ UK. Some samples will be on hand to see/ touch/ smell and taste. We will learn about their health benefits and immuno-modulating properties, including links and references to scientific studies. 

 –Learn how to identify them, their habitat, their physical properties. We will learn about how to safely dry or preserve mushrooms to keep their properties intact, or indeed how to enhance or harness their properties, such as providing us with a bio-available form of Vitamin D and other minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.  

Medicinal Mushroom preparation– We will discuss and demo how to make an aqueous extract, alcohol extract, alcohol-free glycerin extract and the benefits of these vs how and when to combine these for a dual or full-spectrum mushroom extract. We will learn how to create water extracted mushroom powders. We will discuss when there may be contraindications for use.

-Learn how and why mushrooms offer powerful nutrition and learn some delicious recipes and easy ways to bring mushrooms into your diet and wellness routine. Special preparation consideration for enhancing nutritive value and to safely use and consume wild fungi. We will discuss some different cooking methods and a variety of food preparations including: drinks, desserts, mushroom jerky, gomasio/ food condiments, pickles, etc.  

How and where to source medicinal mushrooms: which mushrooms are possible to forage from the wild and which fungi are easier to cultivate and some resources about how to do this. We will share some reputable sources and how to choose good quality mushroom products. We will learn about how to distinguish from a fruiting body and mycelium and their respective medicinal properties.   

You will be provided with a recommended reading list and extensive notes and you will go home with a medicinal mushroom preparation made together on the day. 

Medicinal mushrooms drinks, tasters and a healthy lunch will be provided on the day.   

There will be some dried mushrooms and dual-extract tinctures available on the day to purchase, should you like to. 

____________________________________________________________________________

What: Medicinal Mushrooms Workshop with Courtney Tyler and Michael White

Where: Blessington, Co Wicklow- the location will be disclosed closer to the date. You may need a car to travel, but we can arrange collection from a nearby train or bus if needed. 

When: Saturday 16th July 2022  Time: 1030-1600 

How Much: €155 Early Bird (£132) / €175 Full Price (£149)Early bird tickets are available until the 1st July 2022 and are full price of €175 after that date.  

**PLEASE NOTE THAT YOU WILL BE CHARGED IN POUNDS STERLING, HOWEVER THIS EVENT WILL INDEED BE RUN IN IRELAND! 

 ***THE EXCHANGE RATE WILL FLUCTUATE DAILY BUT SHOULD BE VERY CLOSE TO THE EURO PRICE PLUS BOOKING FEE.

____________________________________________________________________________ 

We will be in touch with you before the event takes place to share the location with those that have booked their place. 

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A day out for a private mushroom forage with Joe Keane in Tipp – a mushroom wonderland- I have never seen so many fungi!

I was fortunate to take Joe up on an offer to visit his woodland. Joe lives on a farm in Tipperary and his family planted up some of the fields with forestry in March 2000 as part of a long term plan to reinstate the native woodland habitat.

When Joe, Eimear and Selina were telling me that there was a huge abundance of fungi there, to be honest I thought, yes, there are so many fungi in so many places – yet I was not prepared for what we came across!

In my naiveté I totally underestimated the drive to Tipperary from Wicklow, in my mind it was an hour at most. However it was well worth it, not only for the fungi, but to spend a surprisingly lovely day with really special people! Joss, Anna, Manini, Jamie, Joanne, Anna, Selina, Eimear, Joe and myself.

It was a wet and soggy 25 October when I arrived after a 2.5 hour drive there. I was greeted by Joe’s warm smile and a sputtering campfire that Joe had gone to much effort to light along with a gazebo and tables to meet everyone around.

We laid out some of my favourite mushroom books, some dried mushrooms samples and medicinal mushroom tinctures to discuss and introduced ourselves to each other. We then headed out to explore the undergrowth of the Norway Spruce plantation. It was like entering an enchanted fairy glen and we were immediately greeted by literally hundreds of thousands of mushroom fruiting bodies.

mushrooms in huge abundance amongst a norway spruce plantation in Tipperary

Mushrooms in crazy abundance amongst a Norway spruce plantation in Tipperary- have you ever seen anything like it? I haven’t! This was in every direction!

Thank you to Anna and Selina for some of these images!

Mushroom Books I recommend

I am asked all the time what books I recommend.

This is difficult to answer as there are so many different ways to be interested in fungi- whether it is identification, edibility, medicinal mushrooms, cooking mushrooms or wild food, cultivation, mycology… the list goes on. I am interested in most of these aspects, but I am aware this could quickly become overwhelming to a newcomer. Also of note is that one should seek out mushroom books that are local to their part of the world.

Another important consideration is that while I value buying vintage and second hand whenever possible- when you are relying on mushroom books to give you safe and up to date information- I do not recommend old books. The information is changing constantly, not only the classifications and taxonomy but the information on safe edibility of mushrooms in older books can be suspect and no longer recommended, such as the culmulatively toxic Brown Roll Rims. So, find it second hand if you can- but get your books recent and up to date.

This list will evolve and I will add to it over time, I’ll just get a start on it tonight…

I will list some books I love or recommend and why here:

Mushrooms River Cottage by John Wright

I highly recommend this book for all beginning mushroom foragers. The River Cottage Mushroom book by John Wright is an excellent resource for those that are interested in foraging for edible mushrooms. There are great photos, clear information, a slight sense of humour and importantly he points out when there is a dangerous look-alike to be aware of. There are some very tasty recipes at the end of the book in true River Cottage style. I like John Wright and also might say while I am here that I also enjoyed this one:

The Forager’s Calendar- A Seasonal Guide to Nature’s Wild Harvests by John Wright

I downloaded this Audibles audio version of this book: The Forager’s Calendar- A Seasonal Guide to Nature’s Wild Harvests. I love listening to audio books in the car while driving and this one is informative and entertaining. Its good because he covers wild food and fungi throughout the season and what you might expect to find in any average month of the year and some tips about how he likes to use these ingredients.

book-entangled-life-by-merlin-sheldrake

I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending this book to anyone, no matter what your interests are! I have both this copy AND the audio version. It is narrated by the author Merlin Sheldrake and I cannot get enough of it. An incredible book that covers the many and diverse ways of “How Fungi make our worlds, change our minds and shape our futures.”

Absolutely mind-blowing and hugely entertaining.

I would LOVE LOVE to have a coffee with Merlin one day:)

Courtney’s pared back mushroom stack – there are many many more in the collection- but these are some!

Let’s start with the one in the centre: the second one that I recommend to any new mushroom forager to be: Edible Mushrooms: A Forager’s Guide to the Wild Fungi of Britain, Ireland and Europe

I highly recommend this book, both to beginning foragers and experienced foragers alike. It has many species and what I like best is Geoff’s book stands alone in my opinion with its attention to the “Spectrum of Edibility”. So many books copy each other and err on the side of over-caution and preach to the lowest denominator. Geoff touches on this spectrum in detail and gives information about how and under what conditions each mushroom is edible or it isn’t. For example, many books might state: inedible, not recommended or unknown about edibility but Geoff gives us more detail than most- sometimes its a case of boiling before cooking, or cooking at high heat, etc to remove certain toxins. I respect and value this information so that I may make the decision myself, rather than be told simply: not recommended. And of course, should a mushroom not be recommended for consumption- this is also clearly stated!

Again, great photos, great information and again a warning on dangerous look-alikes.

Another book from that book stack above:

The Fungal Pharmacy by Robert Dale Rogers.

Fungal Pharmacy The Complete Guide to Medicinal Mushrooms and Lichens of North America.

While, granted, this book says it is for North American species, most of it is also relevant to Ireland/Uk/ Europe. Many of these medicinal mushrooms also grow here so there is much valuable information if you’re interested in mushrooms’ medicinal qualities.

From Jelly ears, Shiitake, Fly Agaric, Reishi, Lion’s Mane, Button mushrooms, Oysters, the list goes on and on.

Robert Rogers has a good online medicinal mushrooms course that I also can recommend.

Next on the list:

Chanterelle Dreams, Amanita Nightmares- The Love Lore and Mystique of Mushrooms by Greg Marley

Throughout history, people have had a complex and confusing relationship with mushrooms. Are fungi food or medicine, beneficial decomposers or deadly “toadstools” ready to kill anyone foolhardy enough to eat them? In fact, there is truth in all these statements. In Chanterelle Dreams, Amanita Nightmares, author Greg Marley reveals some of the wonders and mysteries of mushrooms, and our conflicting human reactions to them. With tales from around the world, Marley, a seasoned mushroom expert, explains that some cultures are mycophilic (mushroom-loving), like those of Russia and Eastern Europe, while others are intensely mycophobic (mushroom-fearing), including, the US.

This fascinating and fresh look at mushrooms-their natural history, their uses and abuses, their pleasures and dangers-is a splendid introduction to both fungi themselves and to our human fascination with them. From useful descriptions of the most foolproof edible species to revealing stories about hallucinogenic or poisonous, yet often beautiful, fungi, Marley’s long and passionate experience will inform and inspire readers with the stories of these dark and mysterious denizens of our forest floor.

Jelly Ear Mushrooms- a local and abundant medicinal mushroom

Hmmmm? What’s that you say? Can’t hear you from my Jelly Ear!

(Even if it’s the biggest Jelly Ear I’ve ever spotted!)

These abundant, edible and medicinal fungi were a bit challenging to me before, I must admit.

The gelatinous texture isn’t one that I was accustomed to eating but it’s grown on me! The distinctly ear lobe shape didn’t help either. 😂

This mushroom can be found commonly growing on dead or dying Elder trees. Sometimes you can hit the jackpot and find branches heaving with them.

Another name for this fungus is Auricularia aurícula-judae, Wood Ear, Black fungus, Cloud Ear, Judas Ear or more controversially Jews Ear/ although this name is no longer recommended.

These can be harvested throughout the year, and can even be found shrivelled up on the tree after a dry spell. They dry down very small and rehydrate readily when needed. Love finding them plump and fat and juicy but you can collect the dried ones too, saving you the job of drying them out!

I harvest, clean, slice and dry these to preserve them for use throughout the year. Then rehydrate when needed.

If cooked fresh in a frying pan they can be quite explosive!

I enjoy them most sliced into a Chinese dumpling with other wild greens and aromatics.

Another favourite amongst the Foraging world was dreamt up by @fergustheforager many years ago and takes the intact dried jelly ears and rehydrates them into a liqueur then covers them in chocolate.

This mushroom has been used medicinally since the Tang Dynasty 618 BCE in China, often added to dishes to help improve breathing, sore throats, to reduce colds and fevers, to enhance well being and to boost circulation.

One to look out for on your wild food or herbal medicine journey.

#jellyearfungus #medicinalmushroom #foodasmedicine #fungi #fungus #forager #wildfood