Monday, April 24, 2017

Morel season!

Spring is my absolute favorite season. There are so many things waking up, and if you blink you'll miss it. Every year when Spring Break comes around, Kenan starts making plans for different places we can go. It always bums me out a bit, as there in no place i would rather be in the spring then here. 

With the kids in school, we have to take advantage of their vacations and breaks if we want to go anywhere...which means every spring, i feel like i miss so much.

This year was no different. Everything was just starting to open up and bloom and we were making plans to head to Florida. 

My morels usually start popping the second week of April, which is of course when we were going to be gone.  Our weather had been unseasonable warm, so i had a feeling morel season might be a bit early this year. So a few days before spring break i was out hunting morels.

i found these brand new tiny morels just starting to emerge. The largest one in this photo is only about an inch tall. They were all super tiny, so i covered them with leaves marked the spot and left them until we returned.

When we got back from our trip, i went out to check the morel spot before i even unpacked. As i was searching for my marked spot, i found this one. i was so excited that i hadn't missed them entirely. When i found my marked spot i was disappointed to see that they were all gone. It looked like they had just dried up from the lack of rain. 

i started hunting for more in the area, and was excited to find several that were a good size. They were just starting to dry in places and if i'd waited a day or two they would have been too old and unusable. 

i picked all of these in just a matter of minutes. They had all come up in the same small area that i've found morels in before, so i already knew where to look. They are not usually so easy to find. 

i went back out hunting a few more times that week and found 4 more, still in this same area. i hiked out all through the woods hoping to find another patch, but didn't find even one.  In years passed, i have found random morels in the strangest of places. We had a couple come up next to our mail box, a few in the flowerbed, a couple on our trail down to the creek and a couple more under the apple tree that is next to the creek. Many of our old reliable patches have since dried up.  They are so unpredictable, but always a joy to find.

With spring comes real food! My leafy greens are finally ready to harvest. The asparagus has just started coming up, my hens are laying like crazy and i have fresh herbs to incorporate into my meals. i get into such a food rut over the winter, and although i can purchase fresh vegetables at the local grocery store, it's just not the same as harvesting your own from seeds that you grew, nurtured or foraged yourself. Spring is truly the time of hope and new beginnings.

It was such a pleasure to sink one's hands into the warm earth, to feel at one's fingertips the possibilities of the new season. ~Kate Morton, The Forgotten Garden


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