What to Do Once You Found Morel Mushrooms


As we venture deeper into springtime, perhaps some of you are venturing into the woods in pursuit of the morel mushroom. Some people think just finding them is hard part when knowing what to do when you find them could be even more important. There’s all kinds of mixed information on the internet, but here are some tips I think you’ll find remarkably useful.

  1. When you go looking for morels it’s important to like you’re doing something else. You see, morels can hear your thoughts, and in addition to ears they also have legs. If they can hear you coming for them they’ll always take off running.

2. Along those same lines let’s say you do stumble on a solo morel. Since one is not enough it’s good form to keep up the ruse. May be say, “Oh… hello.” but keep on your way as if you’re just passing through to retrieve a sock you lent to your friend over yonder. The morels will overtime become less afraid of you and think you’re just a lone-sock-retrieving traveler.

3. Let’s say you see two morels. Well you can’t take just one or the other will take off and alert the others. If you took both you’d better hope no one see you leave with the whole lot! Best thing to do here is to strike up a conversation about the weather, morels love talking about the weather, then carry on.

4. Maybe as you carry along you wander into a whole group of morels. This is a morel meeting where they talk about all sorts of things important to morels, like that person whose been clumsily bumping around in their forest. It’s important to be courteous and wait until the meeting is done, and when everyone begins to leave you can invite a few over to dinner with you. They’re usually glad to because as we all know meeting are long and boring and they’ll be happy for some fun.

5. Much of finding morels can feel hit or miss at times but I’ve found that building a good, strong friendship makes them eager to find you every spring and catch up on the past year.

6. The best place to start in making a lasting friendship is to treat them and their community with respect and not as a “product” or “ingredient” or “social media status elevator”, but as their own unique living thing. For instance a good tip is to not call them weird science names within earshot. That’s like calling you a homo sapien. Barf! If you can’t think of anything, saying “Hello friend, who do you do?” is a fine start.

Couple Ways to Preserve Stinging Nettles

fermentation, homesteading

Picking wild nettles is one of the essential traditions of spring. I’m certain the world will cease to turn the first year that nettle soup doesn’t make its way to the table. (As should be the case.) For nettles all year long here are a couple things to do.

Blanch & Freeze

Prepare a large pot with boiling water and enough salt that it tastes good to you. Leave enough extra room for when you plunge the nettle in. When you achieve a rolling boil add modest handfuls of nettle, pushing them down to submerge for about 2-4 minutes. Remove, strain, and place in iced water, or the coldest water you have and repeat as necessary until all of your nettle is blanched.

When all the nettle is done and cooled, strain them from the cold water bath and squeeze excess water out. I like to roughly chop it at this point. Next, divide the nettle into portions, put them into freezer bags, or other containers, and place in the freezer. These are great for adding straight away into dishes like stews or stuffing into ravioli all winter long.


A quick and natural ways to preserve nettle while influencing its unique nutritive qualities is a quick lacto-ferment. Just pack nettles into a jar with a sprinkle of salt (3% salt by volume brine is the general comfy amount) and top with water. Screw the lid lightly shut and let it bubble up at room temperature for a couple days. Thin leaves like these do have a tendency to get mushy and fall apart if left to ferment long enough so I prefer to move my fermented nettle to the fridge a couple days into the jar getting active.

Add to Sauerkraut

If you happen to have some sauerkraut lying around or are about to make a batch, sauerkraut works as a great “bed” for leaves like nettle to help resist them turning to mush. Mix fresh leaves in with your cabbage or kraut to make a fun seasonal variation.


I think drying is the best use for the big, late spring nettles. The small, delicate ones deserve to be eaten right away. The dried nettle are great as a seasoning or nourishing tea at any time. I like to take advantage of the new warm sunny rays and simply lay the nettle out in a single layer on newspaper, flipping and turning as I remember. The gently dried nettle can then be stored in jars.