Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Grow your own morels

There are thousands of people out there with a mushroom obsession. Specifically an obsession for a wild mushroom called a morel, and the hunting thereof.

Morel hunting--which occurs in the spring--inspires contests to find the most or the biggest (or the smallest) morel. It inspires artists to carve morels out of wood or cast them in resin. For example, check out a store called Morel Mania where you can buy a morel-topped walking stick to use when you're in the forest looking for morels.

So, why am I talking about morel hunting in November? Because this is the time you need to order a tree that has been inoculated with morel fungus for planting in early winter. This way, when morel hunting season hits in the spring, you'll have your own personal morel orchard.

The trees--which are elms--are inoculated with a process patented by an avid morel hunter and are available from a company called Morel Farms. The trees cost $15 each, with a minimum order of 10 trees.

While you're waiting for your morels to mushroom in the spring, read this extremely informative book called Morels by Michael Kuo (University of Michigan Press).

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