Foraging the “True” Turkey Tail Musroom

Trametes versicolor is a powerful antiviral, anticandida, as well as immunomodulator, Yet, there are a few mushrooms that look somewhat similar to the untrained eye.

Here’s a look at two pics showing the true turkey tail (trametes versicolor) on the left, and it’s look similar, the “false” turkey tail (stereum ostrea) to the right. Notice that trametes versicolor has a white underside shown in the second pic below, otherwise they look very similar and can easily be confused. Although it is not known that false turkey tail is toxic, there are still questions and concerns for working with it as a medicinal. With all of the research I’ve scoured and all the people I’ve asked I still haven’t been able to find any direct experience of consumption of stereum ostrea, although many claims exist. For a better look at the living discernment of these and a few other similar mushrooms check out my youtube video at Foraging for Turkey Tails – happy foraging.




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Foraging Herbalist Mentorship Training, 2015

Herbalism and Foraging Training, 2015

dan mentorship class

Monthly Group Mentorship Program in Somerset NJ

Beginning in spring of 2015, I’ll be taking another 10 personal students for a year-long training intensive program. I’ll be systematically teaching each student to work in depth with the diverse plant teachers of the land. Each student will be getting to know the plants inside and out, and work with care and attention to the subtleties of the plant world throughout the learning process; learning the seasonal harvesting times, and growing deeper awareness of what is surrounding us.

This course is designed to lead you into a deep intimate and instinctual knowing with plants and their medicine offerings. From observing and understanding the ecosystem intimately comes building your herbal apothecary and knowledge base of the plants and how to work with them.

This Course Includes:

  • 8 – In depth 3 hour classes with lessons including plant identification throughout the seasons, proper harvesting for food and medicinal preparations for building your home apothecary.
  • Access to our own Facebook group for digital hand-outs, asking questions, discussing material, and working with the collective insight of the group.
  • In-field training of deep and real-life experience connecting with local plants in Nature, and gaining allies with the plant world.
  • Working with sit spots, and intuitive perception to take our connection with the Earth to a deeper, and more tangible level.
  • Simple and engaging assignments to complete at home and take you deeper into the lessons.
  • Lots of medicine making throughout the seasons, and journaling your experience.
  • Suggested reading list including field guides to enhance the course.


We will meet once a month at 6 Mile Run, in Somerset, NJ on the 3rd Wednesday of each month from 2-5 pm. The course ranges from March to November, with a break in August for tentative summer travel. If the weather is unbearable we will discuss alternate dates through the Facebook group.

Scheduled meeting dates are 3/18, 4/15, 5/20, 6/17, 7/15, 9/16, 10/21 & 11/18

~ Please note ~

Once registered you must commit to the entire class schedule

Missed classes will not be refunded.

Payment Plans – 2 Options:

  1. Pay in Full – Tuition for the full course (8 classes) is $600, or $550 if paid in full in advance for a savings of $50. 
  2. Pay in Increments – A down payment of $150 is required upon registering to reserve your spot in the class. The remaining $450.00 [$600 in total] may be paid in increments of $100 per month for the first 4 months, with a final payment of $50 in the 5th month.  [Email me to discuss other Options]

Payment Options: you can mail cash or check, I can collect cash at the classes, or you can send through PayPal to my email address:


To register for the class or if you have any questions please email by Thursday, March 5th 2015. Spots are limited to 10 for this course and will be filled quickly. Register now to reserve your spot!

I look forward to working closely with this group and I’m looking forward to watching your discovery with the plant wonders unfold! Please email me with any questions!

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New Video – Harvesting Autumn Olives

Heres a look at one of my favorite wild berries – Autumn Olive (Elaeagnus umbellata). With a great amount of medicinal and edible aspects, I hope that this video can transform our cultures negative perception about this sometimes perceived as negative “invasive” plant.

More can be seen at:

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Quick and Easy Soaked Survival Breakfast

Here’s a Look at a Quick and Easy Soaked Survival Breakfast. 

Soaked Survival Breakfast

This is surely a decent way to start the day with all of the essential fatty acids, carbohydrates, and protein to get you powered through the day, and its very easy to make.

As I travel and forage, I keep a jar of mixed seeds in my car with some dried fruits.  Options for this include flax, chia, pumpkin, sunflower, walnuts, almonds, sesame. And any dried fruits will work, here you see wild picked and dried cranberries, and goji berries. By getting this diversity of seeds nuts and fruits it’s sure to help nourish the body, mind, and spirit.

All you have to do to make it is just pour it in a jar and add water the night before, and let it soak. In the morning add raw local honey to taste and it’s a full day of super power.

Camping breakfast made easy.

More articles here

More Videos Here

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Herbal Protocol Points – Injuries

Herbal Protocol points for Injuries:

Healing injuries takes time, and requires the ability to not treat only the symptoms, but give the body the necessary minerals to repair itself. Here’s some helpful tips to stimulate your healing.

apothecaryFor Reducing Inflammation.

½ tsp turmeric daily

Ginger tea

 For pain

Willow – precursor of aspirin

California poppy, Lobelia, ghost pipe (cautions needed when working with these)

For regrowing and repairing cellular damage:

St johns wort – repairs nerve damage

Increases healing minerals into the system  – Comfrey poultice applied to the area daily (externally), Horsetail (internally), Stinging nettle

Glucosamine – shown to help repair damaged tissue.

Licorice/Japanese knotweed/cayenne – to help circulate minerals throughout the system


Reduce or avoid sugar or wheat

Increase dark leafy greens – smoothies, and juices

Add black strap molasses into smoothies for extra minerals

Heat such as hot baths with Epsom salts, lavender essential oil, or saunas – weekly or 2x weekly

Slow stretching/yoga to increase blood flow


 Remember that dosage is everything, and that applying the right amount takes careful know how. For consultation with me click here

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Beach Plums!

Beach plums are amazing!! They are a local, and sacred food source. Share with the rest of nature, and help these grow in your garden! In-Joy!

More vids can be seen at
RTN on Facebook:

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Two Videos on Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) and Indigenous Medicine Perspectives

Heres 2 videos on a great plant ally, Yarrow, and some ways to work with it to tap into our innate indigenous awareness that has built our brains and bodies.


Foraging for Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) – Return to Nature – Pt 1

Yarrow and Indigenous Medicine Perspectives – Return to Nature – Pt. 2


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Yesterday’s Haul at the Mushroom ID Class

It was truly an honor to share with another group of wonderful people in the woods. Here’s some shots from some of what we came home with :) a small array of the miracles of nature that revealed themselves. Many ate well from the bounty… I know we did here! We made a mushroom soup, breaded and fried chicken of the woods, and lots of other sautee dishes, plus with a little shake down of a cherry tree I got to experiment with “raw cherry bars” as well as lots of cherry eating! We are blessed by natures abundance, if we know how to look! Please support return to nature in whatever way you feel inspired. Thanks to all who came!

11 15

And next weekend I’ll be teaching another class at 6 mile run, in Somerset NJ.

More info on my calender 


Pics by Olga Sher

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This Upcoming Weekend – The Yoga of Foraging – August 8-10

Join Dan for a weekend of foraging and sense meditations in a pristine and peaceful ashram.

ananda 6 The foundation of all herbal traditions stems back to working deeply with the senses. Engaging the constitutional aspects of herbs is a central practice in all indigenous medicine traditions. Engaging in this way with local plants enables us to tap into the deep instinct and intuition that the founders of all mystic traditions were working with. In this weekend workshop you will gain first hand experience of working with the local plants and intuiting their taste, texture, smell, and signature as active constituents for healing mind, body, and spirit. In this weekend workshop, you will learn the cycles of the plants, from foraging ethics to dosage requirements, and practice sense meditations to learn the properties of plants in a way that is deeply needed, yet rarely explored.

During the morning session we will all go out and harvest and work with the plants directly. In the afternoon will work with medicine making aspects. In the evening, we will do some deeper visioning with the plants. Plant sits, meditations, and observations through ingestion and ceremony.

The cost of the weekend workshop is $175 (lodging and food separate – see below). This also covers cost of materials for making and taking home your own remedies to journal about and work with.

You are also welcome to come Saturday for 90$ with 10$ donation to the ashram for each meal.

Class Schedule:

Friday evening – 6-7:30 pm

Saturday – 10:30- 12:30 am and 2-4 pm

Sunday – 10:30- 12:30 am and 2-4 pm


Lodging is suggested for complete immersion in the class and is available through Ananda Ashram – See their site at – There are several options for lodging, from camping to private dorms. All *amazing* home cooked food is provided as well.

There is also a campground 20 minutes outside of the ashram called Beaver Pond Campground –


Dan Farella is a Forager, Herbalist, and Teacher dedicated to working with Nature to serve in uniting the planet and its people. Dan teaches through Return to Nature (, which provides classes in foraging and herbalism, making homemade remedies from herbs, fermentation and kombucha classes, and primitive and survival skills. He also makes and sells herbal products, and gives nutrition and health consultations, mentors private students, and gives in-home custom group herbalism classes.

Become a part of the Return to Nature Facebook community for frequent updates, videos, articles and more:

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New Article Published – Foraging for Mustard Greens

Dirt Magazine published my second article this month. This ones entitled “Kales Wild Cousin” in which I share about some of the great wild edibles of the Brassica (mustard) family.

That yellow stuff you put on hot dogs? That’s right, mustard. Mustard is famous for its hot-dog-embellishing seeds, but it is actually a common name for an entire plant family known as brassicacea, or brassica for short.

Through thousands of years of co-evolution with humans, the original lowly field mustard has turned into an incredible variety of our commercially grown food, like broccoli, cabbage, mustard greens, brussels sprouts, kale, collards, and arugula.

Luckily there are also wild edible mustards that you can find growing just about anywhere, from your backyard, to any park, for free. Nature plants them readily, and it’s mighty kind of her to do so.”

You can see the full article here…

Kales Wild Cousin

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