The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Morel hunting and cultivation tips from Mushroom Mountain

Gigantic prehistoric dinosaur like morelYou can find a morel in every state except Florida and Arizona, you just need to know where to look and how.

1. Carry a meat/soil thermometer with you at all times to test for when the season begins. Check the soil temperature in the morning shade. When you find a spot around 50 it's time to begin hunting, 58 is when it's all over and your only hope is to go to higher elevations.

2. If you hunt in an old orchard be aware that morels can absorb heavy metals which often linger for decades in the soil from the spraying of a wide variety of toxins. You can get a heavy metal testing kit, but I think it would be easier and safer to go looking in another spot.

3. Go check out Tradd Cotter's concise page on morel hunting. He's got a lot more tips like which trees to look out for and what other mushrooms and plants are making their appearance at around the same temperature.

Yes...the mushroom in the picture is real and not a photoshop trick, proof that this guy knows a thing or two about what it takes to find them and he's working on new techniques to cultivate them at home.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Yay! We're already looking for them around here, last year we beat Tradd to it (he was disgusted and kept trying to trick us into telling him our spot). :)
Comment by Eliza @ Appalachian Feet Tue Mar 8 13:15:57 2011
I try not to be jealous at this time of year when people further south talk about morels and gardens. Our soil temperature is 36 to 38 at the moment and I don't expect to be looking for morels for another month. I just have to remind myself that it gets hot down there and I can't take the heat. Happy hunting!
Comment by anna Tue Mar 8 17:43:31 2011

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