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About ∂an

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    Shaman's Apprentice

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    Hunter region (USDA 10)
  1. Cool blog! The animal rescues were my favourite part.
  2. Anyone attending the Regrowth festival? 20-23 January 2017, near Muswellbrook http://www.re-gen.org.au
  3. A lone p. cubensis and some red stemmed pans, my first dung dwellers of the season.
  4. one week later, cap has fully opened and is beginning to dry out. I really love seeing this mushroom every morning, whatever it is!
  5. Any ideas on the ID for this impressive specimen? Could it be in the gymnopilus genus? This is the second flush that have come from this spot in the past month. As can seen in the photo, it is growing from the base of a gum tree. Location is Hunter Valley NSW. Cheers! edit: it has gills of a yellow colour similar to the flesh.
  6. https://soundcloud.com/hwitebear/3-whitebear-the-beast-within
  7. I'm about to plant some garlic, big fat Russian purple ones, maybe the leafy green parts of the plant can be used in salad to get some health benefits?
  8. I lived in Germany for a few years, it got down to -20c in winter and rained every second day, on average. However in summer all that water and with luck some sunshine creates a very fertile environment for growing temperate region annuals. A Good green house sharing some warmth from the house allows for growing sub zero intolerant plants and cacti through the winter. Maybe Scotland is different, but in continental europe many interesting temperate region plants of medicinal interest grow. The local botanic garden where i lived had many solanace plants such as tobacco, brugmansia, henbane and datura, and others such as hemp plants, ephedra, poppies and trichocerus cacti, to name the obvious ones. There are also many edible plants and fungi growing 'wild', such as Burdock, sorrel, wild garlics, boletus edulis, not to mention game animals such as rabbit and deer. Just watch be aware of Echinococcus multilocularis when foraging for wild berries etc, I didn't find out about this fox transmitted parasite until I had been there for a year... Yes the winter is grey, cold and wet, but there is something beautifully melancholic about the snow and deciduous forests. If I was to live in the uk, Scotland would be the place to be I reckon as it still has remote areas that can be considered wilderness.
  9. Nice pimento... I see subs, gyms and Amanitas, amongst many other interesting fungi. I'm a little bit envious! Yeah that cluster of young purple mushrooms really stood out from the drab green and brown of the forest. Went back to have a look at them on the weekend. They become a more pale purple with age, and have a layer of slime on the cap. Lots of them in one spot at the peak of the 200m high hill.
  10. Yeah I think some extra amalyze may be required. So I could cook up some sweet potato and add some of the water to the mash? Saliva contains amalyze as well, hence the tradition of chewing and spitting out the corn I guess. Might do a bit of both. Yeast is the other thing I need to think about - a regular ale yeast might not work so well with corn, or at least won't make a very authentic chicha. I'll chase up some koji or similar - helping convert starch to sugar is probably what the South American wild yeasts did.
  11. This summer past, I grew a crop of purple maize from a dried cob an argentinian friend gave me. This type of corn is not sweet at all and very hard, so cannot be readily prepared for eating through steaming or even boiling. Reading up on the traditional use of purple maize, it seems in peru at least it was mainly used to make a type of unfermented chicha that was sweetened with pineapple. This seems nice, but I would like to try and make a fermented corn beer similar to chicha de jora, that would normally use yellow or white corn. Does anyone know if the starch in purple corn can be converted to sugars using either the traditional (chewing in the mouth) or modern (mashing) techniques? I have soaked, sprouted and dried about 2kg of the kernels. I also have some malted barley and ale yeast, and was thinking about combing the corn and barley malt in a 1:1 ratio, and fermenting using a standard all grain procedure. Alternatively I could chew the 2kg of kernels (sounds like fun for a lazy sunday) and use something like sauerkraut juice for yeast, to make a more authentic chicha. Any ideas or tips? cheers!
  12. Foraging finds from last week, dry sclerophyll forest on the slopes of a small 'mountain' rising 200m, 30km from coast. Mushrooms everywhere after all the rain we have had. Not sure of the species or even genus for most of them, so they are posted here without ID, to appreciate their beauty. Enjoy!
  13. Given we are going into winter, this pseudo pagan ritual doesn't work so well for us
  14. SEASONAL INTERCHANGE by Michael Aitken In Winter, when the trees are bare, We mortals don our winter wear. In Spring, when trees begin to dress, We mortals then start wearing less, Until, for some, with Summer's heat The role reversal is complete.