In Alaska, small, often family- or community-owned operations, forage chaga by hand, careful not to over-harvest. Because not much research has been done on the reproductive cycle of chaga, many foragers are aware that over-harvesting could be detrimental to the fungus. Which is why organisations like the Chaga Co-operative are investing in long-term research, and local sellers process it on a small scale to ensure quality.
Many sellers in Alaska even provide educational guided foraging tours and classes. At farmers markets and local shops, they share samples and answer questions, giving visitors like me the chance to taste, touch and see that the wonders of Alaska's natural landscape are worth exploring.
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