THE WILD CHANTERELLES

4

Posted by Gordon | Posted in News | Posted on 12-09-2015

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

 

GARDEN CHECK-IN

Wow!  What a summer.  Hot and wet – very wet.  I don’t think I have seen anything wilt all summer except me.  The tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbage, rape, collards all did well but have finished now but the okra and sweet peppers (both bell and banana) are still setting fruit and looking good.  They should continue until frost.  The corn grew to 8 feet (supposed to go to five) but did not produce a lot of ears – still worth growing.  The carrots were shaded out by the peppers because I tried to double crop and protect the carrots from the killing sun .   I over did it.

I am starting the seeds for the fall garden and will plant them in the garden in a week or two.  Lots of green crops like several lettuce varieties, rape, kale, beets, collards, broccoli, Swiss chard, carrots, etc.

FALL SEEDLINGS

FALL SEEDLINGS

 

Will also try a sugar pea and a late tomato variety.  The Jerusalem artichokes are 9 feet tall and blooming (it is a sunflower with an edible root that is a good potato replacement for those avoiding a heavy starch diet – diabetics).  The many heavy rain storms that we have had this summer has beaten the plants down to a horizontal position but I think they are none the worse for their condition.  I may try to extend our fall garden with a cover to protect it from the frost.

The little scarlet flower vine that somehow volunteered in the fence line has about taken over half of the garden.  Don’t intentionally plant this vine as it is impossible to control.  I will spend many hours in the garden doing what I least enjoy about gardening – weeding!  After which I will add more composted horse manure before setting the fall garden.

 

WILD CHANTERELLES  

This is a continuation of a previous post about Chanterelle mushrooms.      Our garden is in the middle of an old 1750s Indigo plantation on North Lady’s Island in Beaufort, South Carolina.  Shortly after purchasing the property, I noticed the forest floor was covered in apricot colored mushrooms.  Wild mushrooms were not my area of expertise and I have always stayed away from using them in anything I ate.  All mushrooms are poisonous aren’t they?

CHANTERELLS ON FOREST FLOOR

CHANTERELLS ON FOREST FLOOR

 

About 20 years ago,  I observed three young women in my forest excitedly running around harvesting the mushrooms.  I stopped and asked what they were doing (in my forest).  They told me in heavy french accents that they were visiting a friend in the adjacent retirement development and were picking the Chanterelles – their favorite mushroom which were almost gone in Europe because of over harvesting by those who consumed them.  They each had a basket holding over a gallon of mushrooms which were destined to be cleaned and frozen for later use.  They explained that there was only one other mushroom (a poisonous one) that looked similar to the Chanterelle and it could be differentiated because it had true gills as to the Chantrelles false gills.   Well this was a clue that I could follow so I researched the literature and found that they were correct and not about to die an unpleasant death.  I have since become an avid consumer of this wonderful mushroom.  It blooms from the earth following ever heavy rain during the Summer and would fill a pickup truck or more.

CHANTERELLES IN THE BASKET

CHANTERELLES IN THE BASKET

 

I take only what I can eat and leave the rest to deposit their spores throughout the forest.  I recently found them dried in a Whole Earth Food store at $60.00 a pound and twice that as fresh succulent mushrooms.  Many fine gourmet chefs covet them for their delicate flavor, texture and color which they add to their signature dishes.  I like mine sauteed in butter with a light touch of garlic as the flavor is very delicate.  The color is retained and the texture (much like a portabella) is perfect when eaten alone or mixed with an egg dish, added to pasta or to a hamburger stuffing.  Best of all – They are free for the taking and don’t require any planting or weeding.  I love my Chanterelles.

CHANTERELLE SINGLE

CHANTERELLE SINGLE

 

Looks like rain again so I will go roll my car windows up and  cook some of my mushrooms.

 

Gordon

Comments (4)

Gordon,
The mushrooms look wonderful, we want some.
Donna and Bob

Where are you guys? Come and get ’em. Gordon

Wow! That is a rare and special blessing for someone who works so hard at the rest of your gardening. Nice to see you get a good reward.

They are delicious and are a fine reward. Gordon

Write a comment