Mushroom …….. are you?

Our wonderful grandson Talon, has been mushroom hunting with us, and although we are trying to get him to say more complete sentences… it is just SO DARNED CUTE when he misses the word, where. Sadly we have not found any morels on the days we have taken him hunting, but we have found LOTS on the days we have not taken him😀

I guess we have been hunting morels for the past 3 weeks and have been having SO MUCH FUN.

Although most of the hunting going on around us has been in sites of fires from last summer, we have stuck to our tried and true spots from previous years. I am on a BC morel mushroom site on Facebook and people are posting pictures with buckets of mushrooms. WHAT FUN.

Some talk about this as being their first year hunting morels, and what excitement to find their FIRST morel, I responded that it makes no difference first or thousandth. The joy does not wear off. It is still such a thrill to find each and every one.

We have been enjoying them many different ways.

Several days of morel and pesto pizza….. I have researched the nutritional benefits of morels, and the most appealing benefit is iron. We (for the most part) eat a plant based diet (formerly known as Vegan) and for other reasons as well I tend to run low in the iron department, and hate taking iron pills because they make your stomach feel so queasy ……. so I have been drying LOTS of morels with the hopes of combining them with the dried garlic scapes, and creating a powder to sprinkle on everything.

My niece recently converted a van into an RV, and said that getting onto the toilet was a good yoga exercise, and I must say that bushwhacking must be as well, because I feel MUCH more flexible after climbing over and under branches of trees, and stepping down steep cliffs and climbing up them. We wish we had trained Tucker how to sniff out morels because he IS a hound dog, but likely too old now to learn a new trick

We have had a few days that we have been totally skunked. Nary even a tiny mushroom, but we had great fun with a Weiner roast. VEGGIE wieners of course. They are making them MUST better than they did 30 years ago when we tried to convert our kids.

More mushrooms emerge under several optimal conditions, several optimal conditions. One of them is elevation. We tend to search at the lowest of our sites starting usually in early April, but this year they were very late, showing up closer to early May. They have a specific date and only last so long, and then we go higher up.

We made an amazing discovery this year. ……. As I wrote about last summer, we started getting deliveries of wood chips whenever the tree trimmers were in our area. We likely got about 40 loads last summer and we used the tractor to cover our entire garden (about an acre) with wood chips. This is to provide both a way to soak up excess water……. and a way to deal with lack of rain. The wood chips absorb the moisture. Last summer was so hot and dry, I figured that this would reduce the need for watering, keep the surface of the ground protected, and nourished.

Well the wonderful “unintended consequence” is that I have discovered morel mushrooms all over my yard, anywhere we put wood chips last summer. So in a way, I have my own morel garden. 🍄 (although THIS emoji is an Amanita the poison type…)

Another interesting thing about morel mushrooms is that there are many different types of morels and so in any given area, you will likely only find one type. The cool thing about my garden is that I have many different types, which essentially means that there are likely many different sources. Each year when we gather mushrooms, I always put a cloth under where I am cutting them and then shake the cloth out in the garden with the hopes that the spores will find a comfy spot to rest and then grow, so it could be that many of the mushrooms actually came from spores from previous years pickings.

We are forever trying to think like a mushroom,……… MUSHROOM…. ARE YOU? Some are sneaky.

On a totally different topic ( and I MEAN TOTALLY DIFFERENT). While I have been writing this blog, I have been sitting at the Kamloops Breast clinic, getting an odd breast thing checked out. I have learned something new here today and want to share it with all the women out there who might be in a similar situation.

In recent years it has been shown that women with dense breasts not only have a higher risk of breast cancer, but mammograms do not show cancers up as well. So in BC there is now a clinic that offers annual screening ultrasounds for women with breast density C or D. The breast density is reported on all mammograms since 2018, and you are given a score of A, (mostly fatty), B (less fatty) C (dense) D (very dense) The document below gives better details

The good news is that BC is now offering annual breast ultrasound screening for people who fit into C or D density. The bad news is that it is only available in Vancouver. You do need a referral for these annual screening tests. I will update this as I find out more information about the clinic.

So we are hoping to have another fine week hunting mushrooms, but on Friday we are going to Grand Forks to perform on Saturday at the Doukabour Peace festival. This will be the first time we have performed since before covid….. and we are quite excited. Stay tuned for details, and hopefully a video.

Much love to all Janet, Ken and Tucker the (non mushroom hunting hound dog)