Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Morels! In my yard!

For the second year in a row I've accidentally stumbled across morel mushrooms growing in my yard. This year there are 7; last year there were 2. There are probably more that I haven't run across yet and I'll keep looking.

Where I grew up in Virginia morels grew under tulip poplar trees. My father goes hunting and finds quarts of them, many 4-5 inches tall. I'm happy to just have a few and the one in the second photo I broke while clearing brush because I didn't know it was there. It was only 1.5 inches tall. Luckily it has 4 "siblings" that I will closely guard until they get larger. There are three others I've cordoned off in the front woods and will let them get to a bigger size as well until they are harvested.

Don't know if anyone else reading loves morels but I think they are the best thing known to man! Sliced in half and coated with egg wash and corn meal and flour, then fried in butter til crisp: YUM!

Anyway, Mom and Dad will certainly get a kick out of my finding morels in the yard. If you don't have them where you live, I suggest purchasing some at your local grocery store when they are in season and enjoying the best mushroom known to man.

Here in AK, the morels can be found in areas where there has been fire activity, or near old buried wood remains, as in my yard. Near Tok there was a large fire maybe 15 years ago and the morels are very abundant in these burn areas. The Tok area is so productive for morels that people come up from Anchorage and even from Seattle to stake their claims and harvest these delights. These folks end up selling the fruits of the labor to gourmet restaurants in Alaska and Washington state. They fetch up to 19 dollars a pound if large and in good condition. Must be why I've heard rumors of people guarding their hunting areas with firearms!