I spend a lot of time in the woods walking my dog, and I am usually on the lookout for willow. But there are also lots of birch trees where I live, and they are the host for a popular mushroom called chaga. I look for chaga on live birch trees. It can be as small as an orange or as large as a basketball. More often, it’s grapefruit size or so.
When I see chaga, I’ll often harvest it with a hammer and chisel. Then I bring it home and chop it into chunks about 1″ or less in diameter. Next, the chaga goes in my dehydrator for 24 hours.
I’ve found the chaga to be a pretty popular item. It’s hard for me to keep up with the demand because it’s not my primary focus. But I try my best and lots of people have expressed appreciation for the reasonable price and high quality of my chaga.
Here’s a video that shows chaga in the wild and how I harvest it:
Here are some pics of a large chaga growth on a birch tree. This one took a while to harvest!