Monday, May 13, 2013

Connecticut Morels




We have only been searching for mushrooms for about 3 years now, but had never found morels in Connecticut. Until this weekend, that is. Connecticut does not get the large amounts that you can find in the mid-west, and we don't have forest fires very often, so we don't have burn morels like the west coast. Our season is short and erratic. It had been very dry- no rain for 16 days- this spring, so we figured it was another season we would not be able to find morels. We camped out with a group of mushroom hunting pals this weekend, and we made a group exploration effort that yielded 27 morels and a pile of young dryad's saddle (Polyporus squamosus).

Andrew may be in love!
Camping with mushroom hunters, wild food foragers, and fishermen and fisherwomen definitely had advantages. Dinner back at camp that evening included fried dryad's saddle and morels in butter and oil, fire roasted ramps naan bread, morel kasha and pasta salad, fresh caught rainbow and brook trout stuffed with sheep's sorrel and ramps, maitake chili, chaga tea, and some dandelion wine purchased at the dandelion festival in Ohio. We sampled, we chatted, we drank around the fire telling fish stories and mushroom hunting tales. I wish we had photos of the food, but it was dark and we had to eat in the covered tent because it was raining a bit. Looking forward to a fruitful mushrooming, foraging and feasting year with friends!

Dryad's saddle, we ate the smaller, more tender specimens
Can you spot the morels in this picture? 







12 comments:

The Reverend Fowl ™ said...

I like the last photo; under the tree. Never tried Dandelion Wine.

Tiffany Mayer said...

Beautiful find! I'd love to find morels in my travels one day.

Anonymous said...

I have yet to find a Morel in CT, Congrats can you tell me the area of which you found these, and also what type of tree. (Of course not exact location) but I would like to have some hope thanks.

The 3 Foragers said...

These were found in an area that had lots of tulip poplars along with ash trees in western Connecticut.

Anonymous said...

Seeing that first pic with the two huuuuge morels....Ive been skunked for 3 years now........swore I would never waste my time trying to find them again...

Cant wait for May now.......

Anonymous said...

Found two large (sic) morels in the back yard of our Ridgefield home (wooded with lots of leaf cover) just 2 days ago! It was a nice reward for doing some spring clean-up.

Anonymous said...

I have a small patch of morels growing in my front yard in Newtown but I've never tried eating them as I'm not a mushroom expert. They are attractive though.

Should I try to transplant? They're growing in the lawn and will be mowed soon.

ozimmerman said...

I would have eaten them for you!

Jon said...

I live in Monroe, CT a year late but are they still in your yard??? I'm beginning to get into morels as a buddy down south was finding them I know in cAnaan Ct they were plentiful but I'm trying to find areas around me which seems they do exist but looking to find out what kind of area I should be looking in? I got my tree identification down fairly well but trying to learn what sort of ground these prefer as far as being close to rivers estruaries south sides of hills early season and generally what sort of weather is needdd prior to a good hunt. As with everything time afield will help me to determine pall this. But any help would be greatly appreciated

Jon said...

Can anyone direct me as to finding a good resource for finding out how to find the best places or ather habitats for these? I've been trying to read up on specifics for our state of Ct. to help hone down season proper weather and precipitation needs and areas in which to search in. I've read they will grow wherever they grow but prefer old orchards, poplar, ash trees. I know that mushrooms live off the decaying matter of trees and are annuals once established they're hyphae and generally don't share food sources with other types. I hope this is making sense lol Nothing is going to beat time spend afield but identifying prime locations in which to search will hopefully keep me from not finding any and being discouraged. And does anyone know if ostrich fern is really that common for our area? I find lots of fern but never the right kind. i have lots of reading up to do to become more familiar with these other types of goodies you can find the dryads saddle which I may of come across yesterday and also the ramps. Thanks everyone

The 3 Foragers said...

Jon, did you notice the date of the comment to which you are replying? It's from 2013. Your best bet for finding morels is to spend a lot of time in the woods, the more miles you hike, the better your chances of finding mushrooms. Your second best bet is to join a local mushroom club and head out with people who know the area, like CVMS http://www.cvmsfungi.org/ or COMA http://www.comafungi.org/ It took us 4 years before we found our first morels. They are not terribly common in CT like they are in the Midwest or on the West Coast after fires.

The 3 Foragers said...

Ostrich ferns in Connecticut are not as abundant as they used to be. Over harvest by greedy people and habitat loss due to encroaching invasive plants has really affected their populations.

I do hope you are collecting ramps in a sustainable manner: don't collect more than 10% of a patch no matter how lalrge it is, best to only cut one leaf from each bulb and not dig the bulb at all--digging is a lethal collection for the plant. As with ostrich fern, ramps are under threat because of over collection and habitat loss.