Obviously this is a very quiet time of year when it comes to mushrooms. Yes, there are a few velvet shanks, blewits and Jew’s ear to be found, but it’s hard work. Instead I would normally be consuming my stocks of dried porcini, but the past two seasons have been so dreadful that my store cupboard is almost bare . .
I say it every year, but I just can’t help myself – spring is here! And naturally, as a mushroom lover in an acid soil region, this can only mean St George’s. As most of you will know, these get their name because, traditionally, they emerge on 23 April (interestingly, in Italy they are known as marzolini – ‘March’s little ones’ – presumably because they come up a little earlier in the warmer climate) . . .
The weather may be a touch chilly and damp, but it is perfect for fungi. The St Georges are still in full swing and should continue to be available for at least another fortnight . . .
It’s been a long, very cold, winter, but despite the snow and frost, there are still mushrooms to be found. My godson playfully challenged me to find show them edible fungi. Even I was surprised when I managed to find a kilo of Jew’s ears 300 metres from the front door . . .
It’s happened! Regular newsletter readers are reporting the first really good mushrooms of 2011. Morels and St George’s are out there in force . . .
It’s that time of year when every true mushroom fanatic begins to fidget. Clive Houlder, who claims to be Britain’s only year-round professional mushroom hunter, says that even he struggles to find much in March. This is frustrating to put it mildly, but the only option is to take a deep breath and wait for Easter’s morels and St George’s . .
The latest fungal treasure trove has emerged a good three weeks early with Thursday’s chanterelle haul. Quantities were modest, but the current mixture of high temperatures and scattered showers should provide the perfect conditions for the start of a good flus
For the first time in several years, this season is looking really promising. I’ve been picking some delicious boletes – most notably loads of really lovely young cepes . . .
I’ve still yet to find any St George’s, but the same cannot be said for others, however, and I have been inundated with reports of surprising and mouth-watering finds elsewhere . . .
The recent hosepipe bans may be a cause for concern among gardeners, but they could signal a bumper season for fungi fanatics . . .