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The Elusive Morel

April 26th, 2010

Several years ago Mr Chiots and I found our first morel. We’ve been gathering them and eating them or giving them away ever since. It’s always great when you can harvest from the wild that you don’t have to grow yourself, especially when it’s something as expensive as morels.

Last year the morels came out the day before we went on vacation, so we gave our harvest to my grandpa, who is a huge mushroom hunter. He’s even take vacations specifically for hunting mushrooms. Needless to say he was thrilled when we showed up with a pound and a half of them for free, no hunting involved on his part!

It’s kind of funny because so many people we know have secret morel hunting ground. They won’t reveal their spot to anyone. We’re lucky because we don’t have to go much farther than our backyard for our mushroom hunting adventures.

This past week was the week for morels here in our neck of the woods. We got a fairly good harvest, around a pound. I never pick them all, I always feel like I should leave a few for propagation. I also carry my harvest in a mesh bag, I’ve read this is the proper way to harvest mushrooms because then you disperse the spores when you walk around.

The morels paired perfectly with a venison roast and all those tiny onions from my garden (which happen to roast up perfectly when left whole). I roasted the venison and mushrooms with a good marsala wine, some homemade butter and homegrown garlic. You just can’t get any more delicious for a foraged meal! My parents joined us because a good meal is always better when shared with company, and my dad’s the one that took Mr Chiots hunting for the first time last year.

One of the things I’d love to learn more about is mushroom gardening. I love all kinds of mushrooms and would be a happy gardener if I could pick oyster, shiitake and lion’s mane mushrooms in my own back yard!

Do you hunt/grow mushrooms?

25 Comments to “The Elusive Morel”
  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Susy Morris. Susy Morris said: The Elusive Morel http://goo.gl/fb/Ix1qg #edible #foraging #wildmushrooms […]

    Reply to Tweets that mention The Elusive Morel | Chiot’s Run — Topsy.com's comment

  2. Julia on April 26, 2010 at 7:05 am

    Lucky you! I once found 2 or 3 morels in my yard, but I scooped them all up (leaving no spores to propagate) and havne’t seen them since. At least, I can still find them at the market.

    Reply to Julia's comment

  3. Rose on April 26, 2010 at 7:44 am

    I covet your morels! I miss them terribly as they don’t grow native in the UK. We do have some rather nice wild mushroom selections but they only appear in the fall; then I stuff myself stupid on the things.
    .-= Rose´s last blog ..The Change Jar and Poor-Folk Tips =-.

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  4. Heather on April 26, 2010 at 8:46 am

    This is one of the many things on my “to do” list! I know these grow in my neck of the woods. I need to find someone to teach me which ones I’m allowed to eat! Yum they look like such a treat :)

    Reply to Heather's comment

  5. tigress on April 26, 2010 at 9:04 am

    oh my gosh! i am so jealous. i absolutely love morels!!!! and they are found around the berkshires, but alas, i don’t have the patience, or they eye. or whatever one needs to be a great morel hunter! :(
    .-= tigress´s last blog ..saged pear butter =-.

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  6. Michelle on April 26, 2010 at 10:32 am

    I do not grow mushrooms…yet! This is something I will do once we live in our forever home. We love mushrooms..all kinds…so it only seems appropriate that we should grow them! Your dinner sounds fabulous!
    .-= Michelle´s last blog ..this is amazing… =-.

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  7. Kelly on April 26, 2010 at 10:42 am

    I’d love to but we don’t because my husband is insane (he has a “moral disagreement” with eating mushrooms/fungus/etc – it defies logical thought from an otherwise extremely logical person).

    I *love* mushrooms, and think some of the best I ever had were some puffballs my father and I found at my grandmother’s house one year – the size of soccer balls! We sliced them up, grilled them in butter and had mushroom sandwiches. Nothing competes with it.
    .-= Kelly´s last blog ..Garden Update 2.11 =-.

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  8. Alyse on April 26, 2010 at 10:54 am

    http://www.fieldforest.net/store/index.php?main_page=page&id=3&chapter=0

    You can buy spawn for a lot of mushrooms. In most cases all you need is a moist log. :)

    I love to morel hunt but haven’t been able to for the past few years. Happily, I work with someone who shares. So, I get at least two meals worth of morels a year.
    .-= Alyse´s last blog ..Horticultural Updation =-.

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  9. David in Kansas on April 26, 2010 at 11:02 am

    Oh my! I love mushrooms but I am so ignorant about them I am liable to poison myself if I went around foraging for them. Still, I learned something today by reading your post.
    .-= David in Kansas´s last blog ..Wind-blown Sunday =-.

    Reply to David in Kansas's comment

  10. Dan on April 26, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Nice haul! Never picked wild mushrooms before. These morels did grow in my sisters previous apartment garden but we never picked any, didn’t know weather there are morel impostors? I have been thinking of ordering a mushroom kit the last few months. The place I was looking at side the spent shittake log can be tossed on wood shavings outdoors and it will grow and fruit again.
    .-= Dan´s last blog ..Onions planted =-.

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  11. Amy on April 26, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    Perhaps you are familiar with this poem~perhaps not…..but your blog reminded me of it and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do….

    Mushrooms

    Overnight, very
    Whitely, discreetly,
    Very quietly

    Our toes, our noses
    Take hold on the loam,
    Acquire the air.

    Nobody sees us,
    Stops us, betrays us;
    The small grains make room.

    Soft fists insist on
    Heaving the needles,
    The leafy bedding,

    Even the paving.
    Our hammers, our rams,
    Earless and eyeless,

    Perfectly voiceless,
    Widen the crannies,
    Shoulder through holes. We

    Diet on water,
    On crumbs of shadow,
    Bland-mannered, asking

    Little or nothing.
    So many of us!
    So many of us!

    We are shelves, we are
    Tables, we are meek,
    We are edible,

    Nudgers and shovers
    In spite of ourselves.
    Our kind multiplies:

    We shall by morning
    Inherit the earth.
    Our foot’s in the door.

    Sylvia Plath

    Reply to Amy's comment

    • Susy on April 28, 2010 at 11:29 pm

      Love it!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  12. mamaraby on April 26, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Nope! We sure do like eating them, though.
    .-= mamaraby´s last blog ..Raspberry Leaf =-.

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  13. melissa on April 26, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    no :( I really want to but I don’t think it is done in my area. At least I haven’t found anything online that would indicate otherwise. I know morels don’t grow here. :(
    .-= melissa´s last blog ..a day of food victory =-.

    Reply to melissa's comment

  14. Jennifer on April 26, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    Oh yum! I am envious. I’d tried to go morel hunting a bit too early I think. We’re supposed to have tons of morel in our woods but my timing and weather was just off. Perhaps next year (or tomorrow!)
    .-= Jennifer´s last blog ..Stay a while =-.

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  15. Ken Toney on April 26, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    I bought a table top shitake log for my wife for Christmas. Unfortunately, it has been about as productive as a pet rock. The company has offered to send me a replacement log. Hopefully we’ll have better luck next time. Your post reminds me that I should call my friend who hunts for mushrooms. He offered to take me last year, but I was busy. I hope the offer is still good. I love good mushrooms.
    .-= Ken Toney´s last blog ..Organic Gardening =-.

    Reply to Ken Toney's comment

  16. sarah on April 26, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    I read about people mushroom hunting here in the Oakland Hills (CA) every year and sometimes they eat the wrong ones and get deathly ill. That scares me! Those look amazing though – and how fun it would be to pick your own mushrooms! What a great post and your pictures are always amazing :) Thanks for sharing!
    .-= sarah´s last blog ..Mother Nature’s twist. Our first carrots. =-.

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  17. Jeff on April 27, 2010 at 8:09 am

    Other people have mentioned logs and kits, but from my experience as a kid and now living by Lake Ontario, all you need to do is leave some wet chopped wood laying around and the mushrooms will find the way on their own. When we owned a lot of horses mushroom growers would have a crazy fit over manure with leftover straw bits. They would haul it away and spread it over a dark forest and wait for mushrooms to propagate.

    I don’t hunt mushrooms simply because I too worry about which are bad and which are good.
    .-= Jeff ´s last blog ..Spring Pea, Broccoli & Lettuce Sprouts =-.

    Reply to Jeff's comment

  18. Mike on April 27, 2010 at 8:46 am

    We have been picking morels as well. Those are some very nice ones you have there, how neat that they grow in your yard…I found one morel in ours this year but we had to head for the woods for the rest.
    .-= Mike´s last blog ..Some Days Are Better Than Others =-.

    Reply to Mike's comment

  19. Sense of Home on April 27, 2010 at 9:01 am

    We don’t have morels growing wild around here, wish we did, those look so good. We have mushrooms that grow in our backyard, but I don’t think we have any mushrooms growing here that are safe to eat, at least I wouldn’t trust them.
    .-= Sense of Home´s last blog ..Children’s Bags and Shed Moving and Gardens =-.

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  20. warren on April 27, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    We grow shiitakes and I hunt whatever I can find…mainly morels and chanterelles. I never met a mushroom I didn’t love!
    .-= warren´s last blog ..Why is #2 so hard? =-.

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  21. Andrea on April 27, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    I’m going morel hunting this weekend. I can’t wait! I love to hunt for them, but I’m only so-so on eating them.

    Reply to Andrea's comment

  22. Lynn on April 28, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    man o man o man! that looks and sounds delectable! I wouldn’t know what to look for. A local nursery is now selling shitake spore-impregnated logs. We might do it in hopes of some “fruiting bodies” (sounds gross) next spring. I must say I love your font choices, even here in Comments! It’s very soothing.
    .-= Lynn´s last blog ..Happy Monday: Buddy wrestles the deer =-.

    Reply to Lynn's comment

    • Susy on April 28, 2010 at 11:30 pm

      Thanks, maybe it’s the brown color of the font.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  23. Meg on April 29, 2010 at 11:53 am

    We’ve had a terrible season for the black morels this year…my husband devotes 12 hour sessions in the woods hunting for them in his secret musroom spots!

    Reply to Meg's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but just recently moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine.

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