The elusive morels are moving north, which means finding them here in the mountains of WNC. I’ve been doing some full day forages down in South Carolina but this month I’ll be hunting the forest backyard of the Blue Ridge. Typically I find the black morels in our area, they are distinct with their black ridge lines on the cap, like the one pictured above. This year has been amazing one for the morels, so get out and see if you can’t spot some! Besides hunting morels, this month is the official start of market season. I really enjoy being at the various markets in the area, meeting people face to face, connecting to different communities and spreading the mushroom love. Here’s this months markets:
East Asheville Tailgate: Fridays 3-6 https://www.eastashevillemarket.com/
Weaverville Tailgate: Wedensdays 3-6 https://weavervillemarket.com/
Yancey County Tailgate: Saturdays 8:30-12:30 starts April 15th hhttps://yanceycountyfarmersmarket.wordpress.com/?fbclid=IwAR2n_MehvI361RE-UAv2ft6nelpKeP1A9q6fkdjiXe8EI7coDz1ERcLiCng
Hickory Nut Gap Spring Bash: April 8th 12-5 Saturday @Hickory Nut Gap Farm
Resilience Festival: April 29th Saturday 2-9pm
@The Outpost, 521 Amboy https://allevents.in/asheville/the-resilience-festival/200024092180303
Monthly Special: $5 off Lions Mane Teabags. Lions Mane is a highly medicinal mushroom that helps improve cognitive function, fights dementia and alzheimer’s, mood, heart health, inflammation and nerve damage.
April is all about morels, gettem while you can! Mountain hunting for morels is different than the low lands. Out here hillsides and slopes replace drainage and bottom lands. Also poplar trees seem to produce more than ash trees. It’s all about figuring out the patterns and puzzles of these lovelys. I’ve still found oysters out, witches butter and other jelly mushrooms as well. New on the scene last month and continuing this month are pheasant back mushrooms, they have beautiful patterns on their caps and they have a strong scent of cucumber. They are best edible when small. Lastly are the ramps. Out here lots of folks know and love the ramps. These strong garlic-like greens are delicious in almost any meal. Like the morels they have a short window of growth, lasting a few weeks only. Being careful not to over harvest and also use sustainable methods is important for their survival. I’m excited to get some back in my wild mushroom salts! It’s been yet another great year for the morels so far, let’s keep it going!!