There is plenty of food in the forest too. Check out these two favorites.
The Elusive Huckleberry
|Elusive because each season can be hit or miss due to rainfall and optimum ripening times. It`s getting more competitive out there. Between bear, fox, and birds, local pickers, visiting pickers and the abundance of professionals that "litter-aly" rake the forest for these tasty gems, the casual huckleberry picking stroll five minutes from home for "pick and graze" or a "pick to pie" experience is rapidly dwindling.
Colorful and tasty, the Huckleberry lends itself to everything from cold soups to salads, desserts and iced creams to, believe it or not, meat, fowl and fish. Halibut in a small puddle of purple? Absolutely.
You may have search farther away from you home base and for longer but you will be rewarded. When you find your "no tell-em" patch, mark it well in your memory, leave no trace you were there and leave the redder berries to ripen for the next forager be it two legged or four.
Janice Van Winkle
The Morel (mushroom)
|Another forest gem, the Morel mushroom, needs optimum conditions to grow and thrive. Pay attention to old wildfire burn locations. After a wildfire, new growth on the forest floor is stimulated. The spores of the Morel mushroom are spread and once established over time, begin to fruit. The result – the delicious Morel mushroom.
When to pick
Typically May and June depending on moisture levels and sun exposure.
Where to pick
Old burn sites and where there is a bit of moisture.
How to pick – Your tools
A can of bug spray (for the mosquitoes you will encounter)
a canvas bag or bucket, a pocket knife and patience.
Use the "rule of thumb". Pick mushrooms that are the size of your thumb or bigger.
Use a sharp knife, cut horizontally just below the base of the mushroom leaving a bit of stem.
Leave the majority of the stem and root intact so more mushrooms and grow.
They are toxic. Know the difference, get a field guide and educate yourself.