Sustainable Chaga Harvesting
Image source: Wikihow - How to Harvest Chaga
Chaga is a Precious Resource - We Harvest Sustainably
We use a network of partners to find and supply the finest chaga possible.
1. Our chaga comes from the forests, far from busy towns or roads. We enjoy searching in heart of the Lahemaa National Park. Our chaga is only harvested in areas where plant protection products and pesticides are prohibited by law. (See green areas below).
2. In Estonia forests are generally mixed so it's important to hunt out the older birch trees. It takes time. Often chaga is found on trees in swampy areas.
3. We want decent size chaga growth on a tree (not too small, best to leave them to grow and mark their position with GPS to return next year).
4. If a good chaga is found there will be a little whoop of celebration. Finding chaga can take hours...or minutes. You never know. Some days... nothing at all, so it's time to forage other herbs, fruits and mushrooms at the same time - depending on the time of year. Our dog "Cookie" loves running round the forest so it's fun to hunt chaga with her anyway, whatever the result.
5. Next step is to carefully cut off the chaga with a small axe (this might involved climbing the tree). It's important to leave behind about 25% to allow continued growth.
6. Once the chaga hunting and harvesting is finished for the day it's time to clean the chaga well. It's important to remove any detritus or insects.
7. The next step is to chop up the chaga into chunks and maybe also put some in a bag and smash it into loose pieces and very small chunks.
8. Chaga is then air dried in a clean environment or placed in a very low heat oven.
9. Next up is a humidity test (yes we have to use some technology here!) of the chaga to ensure its 14% or less. This is important to prevent mold or internal rot. Note: we have tested some chaga on the marketplace and, well, let's say it's not all good :(
10. Once the chaga is dry it is stored it in airtight, sealed containers in a cool place.
11. Then a dedicated herbal grinder makes two kinds of powder. One very fine, the other more coarse (to mix with loose pieces and small chunks).
12. After that everything is stored in air tight containers in a cool place.
13. Each batch is individually checked to ensure it's good. Quality is everything.
14. Then the chaga is packaged, labeled and we send it off to you.
15. Hopefully you receive it safely and make some great chaga tea, tincture or something else from our chaga recipes.