We are currently enjoying a surprise bounty at DYL, provided by Mother Nature herself – prized Morel mushrooms! We had seen a couple of odd looking mushrooms on our walks and upon closer inspection identified them as Morels.
When picking any wild mushrooms you need to be 100% certain of what you are doing to avoid illness or even death! Often mushrooms have “look alikes” to confuse you and those are regularly poisonous. The Morel has 2 look alikes and you wouldn’t want to eat either of them! So always err on the side of caution or go picking with someone very experienced. Some people however, can have a reaction to wild mushrooms so make sure you check with your guests before serving them up.
Morels are usually associated with forest fires and the biggest crops come the first year after a burn. Yet not every burn site produces morels and at some you will find only a few, but you can get bumper crops. Professional pickers set up camp at these sites and in a good year can expect $100 US per pound of mushrooms!
Thankfully there haven’t been any forest fires here at DYL so we were surprised to find these little beauties, but they do also like clear cuts and gravel beds and they have appeared in these types of areas.
If you do find a good crop you can dry them easily at home and enjoy them all year - when dried they have a very long shelf life.
I’m sure they won’t be here for much longer, but whilst they are we will continue to enjoy them. Then we will have to wait until the Shaggy Manes appear in the Fall – we had a good haul of those last year!