To me it’s hardly felt like winter this year, as far as the weather goes. Winter can be seen as a length of time, for many mushroom hunters it’s that space between the last lions mane and winter oysters, to when the magic morels begin to grow, and here we are! This month will be the official start to the spring season and with the temperatures being so lovely, the morels should be in full form and abundant. Typically I don’t sell many morels, I usually eat them, give some away or dehydrate them, however this year I plan to forage much more than last year, so if you visit the farmer markets I’ll probably have some for sale. This is the start to the mushroom season and we should see them popping out everywhere real soon.
Weaverville Tailgate Market: Wedensdays 3-6 @ Weaverville community center I’ll be there 3/8, 3/22, 3/29
Taste of Local: 3/24 from 11-1 at Warren Wilson College.
New Product/Monthly Special: I’m pretty excited for this new blend! Wither your trying to keep your mind sharp, need more focus for studying, or trying to prevent Dementia and Alzheimer’s, I’ve combined Lions Mane, Cordyceps and Maitake mushrooms together to create a master brain booster. All three are known to improve cognitive function, mood, focus, help to prevent cognitive decline, create new brain cells, provide energy and boost the immune system. More and more research with mushrooms is coming out and the results are all promising. All month long this new tincture blend will be $25 for a 1oz and $35 for a 2oz. The regular price will be $30 for a 1oz and $40 for a 2oz, starting in April.
Getting out in spring is always exciting, I love the smells, the flowers popping, the lush greenery starting and the great morel hunt! The last few years I’ve added quite a few new areas, thanks to a good, good friend who has the radar dialed in. The season usually starts with the little ones, and for some areas that’s all it may produce. In other areas you may find big and small and in between in the same location. There are four types of morels here in WNC. Blondes or yellow morels, grays, blacks and half free morels. There is a false morel but I haven’t seen them here in our region, just up north. Each is distinct in look, coloring but they all taste the same to me. The false morels are toxic, they are pictured last and you can see they look very different. True morels are hollow, as pictured above, false are not. Morels are often associated with trees, poplar, elm, apple, are three big ones, as well as environment. A big factor to as when morels begin is the soil temperature, calling for at least five consecutive days of a soil temp 55 degrees or above, there’s some great soil temp websites you can find online. There’s also the great morel website, where you can see where people have found them and when: https://www.thegreatmorel.com/morel-sightings/ Though morels are all the rage, there are other mushrooms out at this time. Your likely to see some jelly mushrooms, wood ear, witches butter, amber jelly roll, all which are edible. Also early pheasant back mushrooms that taste great when young but get bitter with age, they are have a very distinct cap pattern and smell like cucumbers, some say if you see these that’s the end of the morel season but I disagree and have found them at the same times. The coral mushrooms will also start showing up, some are edible and some are not, always stay away from yellow corals, the only ones I eat are the white, crown tipped corals. Turkey Tails are pretty much a year round polypore that are super medicinal but not edible, making a tea or tincture is the way to use these beauties. If we are lucky, chicken of the wood could start towards the end of the month as well. It’s bright orange color gives it away, with two varieties, one being yellow on the pore side and the other white underneath. Happy morel hunting y’all and happy spring!!
A sure sign of spring is the wild chives