We’ve been feeding our morel patch once a week with compostable materials to put nutrients in the soil and encourage the spawn to begin, well, spawning. The directions that came with our morel kit note that it’s important to add fresh stuff that's not already composted.
Here’s what came out of the Sunset test kitchen today:
Artichoke trimmings from recipe work for the big Sunset cookbook*
A few slightly moldy raspberries
Assam golden tip tea leaves (my favorite morning brew)
A stray rosemary sprig
Charred cedar planks from grilled cedar-plank salmon (also for the forthcoming Sunset cookbook)
*A collection of over 1000 fresh recipes that reflect the way we cook today, to be published fall of 2010. Stay tuned!
Of course the test kitchen also collects compost for the chickens, and we don’t want to deprive them of their greens. So Team Mushroom is collecting foods the girls might not eat. Charred wood, for example, is right out if you're a hen. But it might be perfect for mushrooms.
We're hoping that the addition of the burned cedar planks will mimic the forest fire conditions that trigger morel fruitings in nature.
Chopping up the cedar planks took some muscle, but Brianne and I kept at it until everything was in small pieces.
We’ll keep feeding the patch for a couple more months, then wait for the warming spring soil to work its magic.