Friday, April 18, 2014

Another Great Wild Delicacy of the Mountains!

   I have written in the past about a wonderful wild leek that we pick wild and eat hear in West Virginia called Ramps.But there is another wonderful thing of the wild that we love to hunt and consume this time of the year as well. What are these delicious delicacies? These are a wild mushroom called "Molly Moochers" or Morel mushrooms. Actually they have a few names, Morchella, Merkel, Sponge Mushroom, Dry Land Fish, Pine Cone Mushrooms and Hickory Chicks!
 Morel mushrooms grow in many forests in West Virginia. Mushroom hunters find black morels under hickory and poplar trees, while yellow morels often grow under Eastern pines. Mushrooms thrive in damp locations or areas where a fire recently occurred. Commonly known as sponge mushrooms and molly moochers, true morel mushrooms have hollow stalks and caps with distinct ridges. Like all mushrooms, true morels are fungi. Their caps contain spores, and when the spores fall to the ground, they germinate and enable reproduction.
  Be careful though there are imposters and you don't want to eat them! Before consuming a mushroom, make sure it is not a false morel. False morel mushrooms are poisonous, and eating them may make you very sick or even kill you. Only true morels are edible.There are several recognizable differences. False morel mushrooms have brain-like lobes and chambered stalks, and they often grow under white pine trees.
   According to the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources more than 1,700 species of mushrooms grow in fields and wooded areas of the state. Six varieties of morels have been documented growing in deciduous forests throughout the state during a brief period between mid-April and mid-May. If you are planning to hunt morels, do your homework or hunt with a knowledgeable person to avoid collecting the poisonous conifer false morel.
The season is really short:
  You need to get in the woods early and fast! Springtime mushroom hunting starts just after the cold winter has subsided and dying tree limbs lay scattered, with the delectable morel being found before other wild varieties come into season. Late April and May are the best months in West Virginia to find morels.
  So what types of area and soil do they like? I mentioned earlier a little of this but they really like dead and dying apple orchards and places where forest fire has burned trees support the heaviest concentrations of morels, especially if limestone is exposed above ground in these areas. They can be hidden in deep leaf litter of poplar, maples, ash, oak, pine, cottonwood and aspen trees and grow best under dead elm logs. Morels favor sandy soil with a bit of limestone. You will not find them in wet areas, although a rain can trigger fruiting.
  Well I hope you have a great time finding and trying a new type of mushroom. I know they are one of the spring time wonders that push people into the woods around these parts!
  I found a really good Beginners Guide Article on "Filed and Stream" that is a very helpful tool!
  "A Beginner's Guide to Hunting Morel Mushrooms".

Link Ups:
LHITS DIY Linky, Farm Girl Friday, The Homestead Hop, Home and Garden Thursday, DHBH,

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Quick Planting Tip

I was asked when the best time to plant certain things was. Here is the best rule of "green thumb"! 

  Plant potatoes, cold crops like broccoli, cabbage, ect, any root crop like beets, turnips ect, spinach on or after St. Patricks Day. You can remember that by the potato famine that happened in Ireland!

  Plant everything else on or after Mothers Day, at this point most areas have had their last frost. But this isn't an exact science as God always has the last say, but it tends to work for me here in west Virginia!

  These were passed down by Grammie and I'm sure there are other old wives tales on when to plant. Such as my Grammie always went by the farmers almanac and always had a great crop! So if you have any others that were passed onto you please share them!

“A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” Luke 8:5-8

Monday, April 14, 2014

It's Been a LOOONG Time! And Bye to Grammie!

    It has been too long since I last posted an article! Really I only have the excuse of a really busy life. For starters we have had a big issue in our family that has taken much away from all our time but the Lord has seen fit to allow that issue to be resolved. My daughter loves volleyball, so we had a very busy school season this year, they finished third in the county tournament but beating the team who won the tourney in the regular season. That was just the start though, she decided she wanted to play travel ball, sounds fun right? Well, it is but practice and the traveling from WV to all over Ohio, every other weekend, know that was a little taxing! But she is gaining lots of experience! Then we have our son who lives out of state now!
    On top all that, church has keep us busy. Trying to make it through the worst winter i've seen in a long time. My work has been a 60 to 70 hour work week. Its just been crazy!
    So that an numerous has just keep me from my gardening and blogging duties, lol! I've said that I will post at least one article a month and try to do more? I have tossed around the idea of moving my blog to another place like Wordpress but I'm not sure? Help with this would be great.

    Finally, to those of you that have followed me for a while, you know it was my Grammie that gave me my passion for gardening and was the greatest teacher! Well on April 9, 2014 at the age 99, she went home to be with the Savior Jesus. Which marks the end of a great time of our family. She lived on her farm, by herself until roughly a year ago, she tended to everything that she possibly could. She would always ask me why I thought the Lord was leaving her here? I always said, "because we all need your prayer", lol! She was amazing, can you imagine all the changes she had seen in those 99 years, good and bad? Great woman, she will be missed but for those of us that are saved we will see her again soon!
   I leave you with a little Travel Prayer that Grammie always said to us when we left her house. It always brought joy to my heart to hear it.