Hunting for Morels

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Foraging

Dear Hivemind Communities

This year I was worried I'd miss the ramsons/leek season. I still did manage to find some in the forest. People say that Ramsons are only good before they bloom and their buds open, although I'd beg to differ. I do like them a lot when the buds are still closed. Especially like putting the buds in my Pesto.

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A little more than a week ago I met up with my friend Sonja to go foraging for Morels. Extremely unlucky with flat tires on my bicycle that day, I arrived late. Initially I wanted to go to a larger stream/river close to where we met. That river also flows through where I live. It's called Flat (Glatt). Yeahh, that's right i'm from the flat valley.

Instead or morels that day, Sonja, who is awesome at foraging spotted something and introduced me closer to aegopodium podagraria also known as ground elder. I was eating this last year, but the leafs were much bigger. I had no idea what they were called back then. Now I finally knew how to recognise them.

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Belonging to the genus of aegopodium, it's a perennial plant in the carrot family.

I combined ground elder(aegopodium podagraria) with ramsons to make a very simple almond pesto with the following ingredients:

Salt
Pepper
Thyme
Vinegar
Almonds
Ramsons
Ground Elder
Raps Seed Oil

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Mushrooms

Last year I was foraging for wild mushrooms at various forests in a different kanton(state). The forests there are abundant in diverse biomes, which become habitat to delicious fungi fruit bodies during the mushroom seasons. I assume that the region must contain vast mycelial networks. Only learning the differences in fungi recently, I began to understand how to distinguish them from each other when determining mushrooms.

  1. Saprotrophic Fungi
    Are decomposers that grow on decaying wood, leaf, sticks, logs and have the ability to break down plant cell wall compounds.

  2. Parasitic Fungi
    They grow on or within living substrates at the expense of their host organisms. Such as living trees, plants, animals etc.

  3. Mycorrhizal Fungi
    Mycorrhizal fungi co-inhabit the rhizosphere and form mutually beneficial symbiotic relationships with plants. Plants use sunlight in exchange for water and other minerals to create energy in the form of sugars.

The Hunt

I was Hanging out with @tandava this weekend, with whom I was foraging last year. Having been on several mushroom excursions out in that region where she resides previously, I was eager to get back out there. Last year she was able to give me in depth experience mapping the area on foot. I think the passion for these fruit bodies seems to be rubbing off on many of my friends since last year. I ow much of what I learned from mushroom hunters to two of my friends from a valley close to a place I call Star Mountain (Sternenberg). I also found a giant Boletus mushroom there and these forests literally have places that resemble an alien planet out of a science fiction novel. I scouted these regions several times earlier. This was north east from where I am.

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Now south west from where I am, I passed a little stream close to where @tandava lived this winter and was certain to find morels there this spring.

This weekend we basically walked straight to the stream and noticed the ramsons that smelled epic.

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On the other side I came across some Exidia Recisa, Witches Butter aka amber jelly roll. It's a common wood rotting species. Rich in iron and polysaccharides, I knew that they were edible, but didn't have a strong taste and took on the flavour with whatever you cooked it with.

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Morels

Morels are actually Ascomycetes that produce Ascocarps with Apothecia and actually don't classify as mushrooms, but I guess we all know them as mushrooms?

How do you find Morels?

I have been scouting potential places since last year and guessing where to find them. I knew that morels grow close to water streams, rivers and around blooming elm in spring in my region. This is around April/May where I live.

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Since large elm trees have their buds really high up, here's an image of a blooming bud I found online:

Source

Additional tree genus amongst which you could find morels are American Elm, Tulip Poplar, White Ash, Slippery Elm, Sycamore, Green Ash, Apple, Bitternut Hickory and Black Cherry. It's good to learn the structure of the bark and other surrounding plants to help identify the Biosphere. It's advisable to remember the plants that grow in association with the trees where you found morels previously and apply this when scouting for new locations.

After scouting this area around the stream for an hour, we found around 11-13 Morels there.

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À La Cuisine

Pardon my french for in the kitchen

We checked our finds by laying it out on cloth:

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I then closely inspected the mushrooms again before ingesting anything that could be potentially harmful or even poisonous.

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I was quite sure about the morels to be honest, as it's hard to mistake them for anything else.

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As you can see I could not stop my mind from already devouring it.

We cleaned off the Morels from insects and snails, making sure we don't cause any harm to any living creatures on these morels. I apologised internally for stealing their meal and @tandava was very gentle and provided them with a new home in a moist compost environment with plenty of other food. We had also done the same with the witches butter.

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We made an asian style peanut butter, ginger garlic and soy sauce for the witches butter and added them. Cooked some savoy cabbage with water, a shot of vinegar and added some garlic. Then we cooked the morels with some more garlic and olive oil, added herbs and then mixed it with the cabbage. We also cooked some quinoa separately.

We then topped the asian style dish with some red onion.

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Et Voila:

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Here are all my previous recipes, in case you feel like trying something else:

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'She did not understand the concept of scarcity. She thought there were unlimited amount of bitcoins' - @yangyanje

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