First mushroom hunt of the year

6 05 2009

Looking for a fun, free, outdoor activity to try with the family?  Every spring we look forward to morel mushroom hunting.  In Minnesota they start to pop out when temps climb into the 6o’s during the day and it doesn’t get colder than in the 40’s at night (end of April – beginning of May).  It’s also a good idea to start hunting after a good rainfall.  Yesterday we went to a local county park and found our first morels of the year – a whopping 5 tiny gray ones.

Kallen and Noah showing off their loot

Kallen and Noah showing off their loot

Here are some things to know that will help you with your hunting:

1. Wear long pants and a long sleeved shirt along with a good pair of hiking shoes/boots.  I made the mistake yesterday going out hunting in shorts and Keen sandals.  Not a good idea – my legs are completely scratched up.  Bring some bug spray too.

2.  Look in stream and river beds, wooded areas, thick underbrush and especially around dead elm trees.

3.  Find a good long stick to help move dead leaves and brush aside.

4.  Take a woven mesh bag (such as an orange or potato bag) with you to put the mushrooms in.  This is important because morels spread through spores, which shake loose as they are jostled about.  Allowing the spores to fall to the ground will help ensure morel hunting for our children and grandchildren.

5.  When picking the mushrooms make sure not to pull the entire mushroom out of the ground.  Pinch off above the ground so as not to disturb the underground plant.  That way they should pop up again next year.

Kallen, my six year old, had become quite the little hunter and he is an excellent spotter.  He was the one who found our “hot spot” yesterday.  Don’t expect anyone to tell you where they go hunting.  People are very reluctant to give up their hot spots so they can enjoy the treasures for themselves.  The best places to hunt are on private property so you don’t have to share public hunting grounds with other mushroom seekers.  Now don’t go out and tresspass – get permission from the land owner.  We are lucky that my father-in-law lives about 5 minutes from us down in the river valley and has some great spots to hunt.

Why do I love mushrooms so much?  They are absolutely pure goodness.  I can’t wait to collect enough to enjoy this awfully tasty treat on a grilled steak.  Dipped in butter, rolled in flour and fried in a pan is the best way to make them, in my opinion.

Kallen spotted the first 2 treats of the year

Kallen spotted the first 2 treats of the year

The boys also had fun finding frogs out in the woods.  I am used to seeing toads, bullfrogs and leopard frogs around Minnesota, but I had never seen this little guy before.  He almost looks like something we would have seen in the Puerto Rican rainforest.

Our little green friend

Our little green friend

I just looked him up on the DNR website and I think he is a Gray treefrog.  Didn’t know we had tree frogs in Minnesota, and I wonder why he’s called gray and not green – hmmmm……

ADDENDUM:  Just got back from a great hunt tonight.  Found about 50 mushrooms including lots of big yellow ones that we didn’t think would be out this early.  One more thing….if you have long hair like me, don’t forget to put it in a pony so it doesn’t get caught on prickly ash.


To top off the day, I tried to play a little tennis with Noah since he has shown an interest in the sport.  They have summer tennis camps beginning at 3, but judging how the day went, I don’t think he’ll be joining one anytime soon (see last picture).

Hey mom - I'm ready to play!

Hey mom - I'm ready to play!

And this was Noah, 5 minutes after we started playing……

Wahhhhh.....I can't hit the ball!

Wahhhhh.....I can't hit the ball!




2 responses

24 11 2009
Mireya Pizarro

I was just on Forbes and clicked on the contest link. This is the first time I hear of your business. Thank you for having such passion about making a difference and confirming my belief that there is a place for me in the business word. I have always loved the business world and want to be part of it. I always believed that I could share my passion and strive to make a difference. I am working on a business gift service that is so much more about business. That business is not really about the bottom dollar. Of course a successful business is one that profits but not at the expense of the people. Your example gives me much to think about. I voted for you and wish you all the success. You are amazing. Wow I read your plans for the money you win and you are planning everything I hope to be. Thank You. You have a beautiful family.

24 11 2009
Mireya Pizarro

I am working on a business gift service that is so much more about business. i meant to say a business gift service that is so much more than the bottom dollar.

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