We are happy to announce during 2021 & 2022 we will be studying the ability to grow Chicken of the Woods (Laetiporus sulphureus, Laetiporus cincinnatus; abbrev. COTW) mushrooms using standard small-farm techniques. This is made possible through funding awarded by Northeast SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education), and we are looking for your help - foragers and mushroom lovers in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast region. You can read the entire grant proposal here:
Help us collect samples of Chicken Of The Woods, and contribute to the larger scientific knowledge - and to your ability to buy COTW from your local mushroom farm in the future! The first 30 foragers to give us viable samples will be compensated $10 for their time.
1. Get in the woods! Or if you are lucky you might find COTW growing in your yard or on your commute
- COTW is easy to identify, even for the beginning forager. Look for orange bracket fungi growing in a fan or rosette shape. Use at least two sources to identify this mushroom if you are not familiar with it.
- COTW is delicious and nutritious, but it can be poisonous if it is growing on a conifer tree. We are only seeking samples grown on non-conifer trees.
- We need a 1-2 inch sample of fresh mushroom to conduct our research. As soon as you get home place the sample you designated for us in a paper towel or napkin and into a plastic bag with a small opening. Keep it in the fridge until you are ready to send or bring it to us.
2. Get the sample to us! If you live near us just bring the sample to one of our farmer's markets or contact us and we'll come pick it up. If you need to send it through the mail follow the directions below.
- When you get home with the fresh COTW cut our sample out and wrap it in a paper towel. Place the paper towel into a zipping plastic bag partially open and store in your fridge.
- As soon as you can get the sample sent to us. Before putting it in the envelope remove as much air as possible from the plastic bag and seal air-tight.
- Send the sample to us as soon as you can. Include the name and address you would like your $10 compensation sent to, the zip code where you found the sample, information about the tree you found the sample on, and any other information you think may be relevant or interesting.
3. Get a response from us!
- If we use your sample for the survey we will send you a check and include what sample number your submission will be in our research. As we continue our research you will get to see how well your sample grew in our lab and if we were able to fruit fresh COTW from your sample!
Like always, reach out to us if you have any questions or want more information about this project! Thank you for considering sending us a sample!
This material is based upon work supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, through the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program under subaward FNE21-970.