The hatching of Black Bird Mushrooms
We are a small batch & hand foraging mushroom company harvesting from the Northern hemisphere; Robinson-Huron Treaty territory and the land on which we are gathered is the traditional territory of the Anishnaabeg.
Black Bird Mushrooms is run and operated by Joel Boucher and Brittany MacLachlan.
On the dawning of Black Bird Mushrooms existence; Joel Boucher, born and raised in Northern Ontario, was wild foraging Chaga mushroom for it's medicinal benefits for his personal use along with foraging for friends and family. Brittany and Joel met at Big White mountain shovelling snow. One day Joel was travelling across Canada to visit his family in Northern Ontario, he decided to visit Brittany on the way. In the heart of Canada, there was Brittany - and oh, what a heart! Joel and Brittany were the best of friends and eventually they fell in love. Brittany decided to join Joel in his travels and together they moved off grid to a small cabin in the woods, Albert Canyon, BC. This was the birthing place of Black Bird Mushrooms.
With a pale of Chaga in tow from Northern Ontario & Brittany's background in soap making.. Together they married their skills together and created Black Bird Mushrooms! - Starting out, their small line of 3 mushroom soaps and Chaga packs were all created and manufactured off-grid and with solar power energy. They made their debut by attending the Revelstoke Farmers & Craft market every Saturday and they were happily surprised by the feedback from the community.
In today's day, Joel and Brittany now live on the grid at Big White Mountain, with a working office where they have expanded into 8 different mushroom soap varieties (and growing), formulated tinctures, medicinal salves and even salt soaks. They go back to Northern Ontario a couple times a year to harvest and visit family. They have taken Black Bird Mushrooms on the road to collaborative markets all over Canada. You can find them partnered with the Kelowna Farmers Market every Saturday, Sunday & Wednesday on the corner of Springfield & Dillworth, or downtown at Kerry Park! Located on the traditional and unceded territory of the Syilx Okanagan People.
"When Joel introduced me to Chaga tea, I started drinking it everyday.. what happened was quite incredible; in time I found my eczema patches became less and less. Chaga's anti-inflammatory properties helped me so that I now very seldom experience eczema flare ups. It feels healthy to have a natural remedy to help me with my skin issues, and so I decided to conduct some research regarding Chaga's medicinal properties. After completing my thesis, we found that Chaga is also bioavailable through the epidermis (our skin is our largest organ). Thus the mushroom soaps/topicals. I'm so happy to have such positive feedback from our community, it's great being able to offer our communities a natural option that actually works!" - Brittany
Founder, Formulator & Forager of Black Bird Mushrooms
"All of our Chaga is sourced from healthy Birch Trees local to Northern Ontario, Canada. This is where I was raised & connected to the land. We follow strict harvesting techniques, always leaving a healthy amount of Chaga on the trees. We always thank each tree and give tobacco as a gift to our forests with each harvest. We frequently revisit the trees we have previously harvested to check on their health." - Joel
Joel comes from both French- and English-speaking Métis heritage and has served 23 years in wild-land fire fighting/prevention.
Chaga especially has helped friends and family of the Bouchers with pain management, alzheimer’s, dementia and strokes. Joel has been foraging Chaga for 15 years with the guidance from his father Peter Boucher. We only forage in Northern Ontario as we feel it is most ethical to stay local to Joel's home roots while harvesting.
Brittany assisted in bringing Joel's dream of Black Bird Mushrooms to life. She is responsible for our admin, formulating, and general operations. Together Joel & Brittany make a great team.
Joel and Brittany are both currently studying Mycology and Herbal Medicine to help further grow their knowledge and skills for Black Bird Mushrooms.
Joel currently works as a Fire Fighter serving the community of Big White Mountain and holds a CSIA Level 3 Ski Instructing license to teach skiing during the winter months.
Brittany comes from Scottish settler heritage, Halifax Nova Scotia, the ancestral and traditional lands of the Mi'kmaq people. She lived for over a decade in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Treaty One Territory. Currently, she works within the Harm Reduction sector for UBCO and the local health department while also regularly volunteering for public health related projects/harm reduction initiatives. Additionally she is a certified massage practitioner and barista locally on the mountain where they live.
Joel and Brittany both love the mountains and serving their communities while enjoying activities like; rock climbing, music, camping, playing crib and spending time with their beloved cat.
Peter and Joel Boucher (father and son)
Generations of mushroom foragers
The name Black Bird Mushrooms was inspired by the raven, known for being intellectually advanced. We often have regular raven sightings and have found by following the ravens, we are guided to healthy abundant trees with fruiting bodies of Chaga mushroom!
The Raven by Justin Boucher
Our original design to represent Black Bird Mushrooms was created by Joel's brother & local artist in Sault Ste. Marie, Justin Boucher.
We would like to give a special thanks to Emily Simoes for bringing our graphics to fruition!