Sunday, July 10, 2011

Wholefoods myco harvest

I was extremely optimistic about a late Spring visit to my cabin in the northern Sierras --actually, by the calendar, it was an early summer visit--as the late melting snow from the record breaking winter accumulation promised a bumper crop of morels and possibly boletes. Normally the prime season is the first few weeks in June, the last vestiges of snow having faded by then. But I guess the message didn't get through to the asco's mycelia that it was ok to come out now. Despite several serious sweeps of known areas of fruiting, the forest floor yielded NOTHING! I did, however, find a cluster of boletes growing in a disturbed area that had yielded the tasty mushrooms in the past.But wouldn't you know it-- they were just over the hill, worm ridden to the max.
Actually, there was one good specimen that we were able to eat after carving away the "bad" spots (In fact, I doubt ingesting the small larvae would do any harm)
Upon our return to the lowlands (Berkeley) we were delighted to find in the kitchen for dinner that night a handsome and generous collection of not only boletes but a few morels to boot! All this harvested in the produce aisle of the local Wholefoods by prescient Debby who must have heard of our misadventures. (Actually, the lack of fungi aside, we had a great week in the Sierra Nevada)
My cabin lies not far from the majestic crags called the Sierra Buttes, which are always awe inspiring in any season, but the late Spring's heavy mantle of snow gave them an even grander disposition; I never tire of feasting my eyes upon them, but this year they were positively Brucknerian.

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