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 himπŸ˜€

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. πŸ„ (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)

Rhubarb and other harbingers of spring…

Spring begins and all of the little sprouts of things that we planted that have apparently survived, are showing themselves. Such as Rhubarb……. Now THIS was a total surprise, because I was thinking that I wished that I had gotten around to planting rhubarb last year. And what were those red blobs over there in the garden? OMG Rhubarb. And then, OMG, am I loosing my mind, how could I have forgotten that I planted rhubarb? And … who GAVE me the rhubarb? πŸ€”πŸ€”

Questions, questions, all answered the next time I chatted to my sister. Even before the topic came up I remembered that she had given me several “hunks” of my mothers rhubarb plant last fall. She has been “caretaker” or the famous MOM’s rhubarb for all these years, and now she said she was relieved, because if anything happened to HER plant she knew she could get some of mine. Handmedowns…. of my mothers wonderful rhubarb.

As a garlic grower it is important to grow rhubarb, so…. you know when you garlic should be up. I figure if the rhubarb can push its way through the cold hard ground, so should the garlic be able to. Lo and behold it DID!

Softneck Garlic (Italian)
Yugoslavian hardneck

So not all the garlic is up, but a good representation of my garlic.

Oh and these garlic are also up, they are planted on my HUGELKULTUR garden.

Hugelkultur is where you layer a mound starting with rotting trees, branches then dirt and compost. Everything grew very well in these mounds last year, and overwintered quite well too.

HUGE beets from last year….

I was too busy in the fall to harvest everything, we WERE building a house then…πŸ™„

Blackberry sprouts.

speaking of sprouts…. look at how much THIS guy has sprouted. His boots are SOOO full of water, the water is coming OUT the holes in his boots. you can not quite see the water coming OUT of the boots in this video. We DO have a bit of a spring that needs to be redirected this year. Lotsa fun making rivers and dams…

Grandpa reading books and “Mother Earth News” to Talon. He LOVES hearing about large hoop houses and how to build wooden trays for seed starting…. πŸ₯¦πŸ…
His main new word THIS week was SHIT….or was he saying shirt? πŸ€”
A wine rack makes a perfect parking garage for cars and trucks.πŸš™πŸš—πŸšŽat least THAT is where HE stored them.
We have about 600 tomato plants on the go….. could feed a small townπŸ€”

Hoop house full of tomato plants, trying to keep them all warm at night is a bit trying, fingers crossed we can keep them alive until the end of April.

We HAVE been making progress with our house and though I would like to take more pictures, all of our building materials are still stacked in some of the rooms. So by finishing the doors and the trim, it is a way of cleaning up.

We have found that to buy glass windows like this one, it is a LOT cheaper to buy the glass separately and get a local door company to put the glass in the frame/door. This is the door to our spare bedroom. It is a design that allows the light through, but not images of naked guests 😊

Our laundry room does not have windows, so I thought that by putting these windows on the two rooms that open into the laundry room that it will have lots of light.

….also by adding the old stained glass windows above the doors. We still have to find tiles for beside the old windows.

This picture is looking from the laundry room, the greenhouse is on the left and the guest room is on the right.

We are loving our house and our lot, even more with all the snow gone.