Confessions of a country librarian and part-time farm girl
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Mushrooms, grass, and bird nests
Now is the time of year that people around here go a little crazy. They spend hours in the woods, looking at the ground. They are looking for mushrooms. And not any mushrooms, morel mushrooms. Just yesterday, several people came into the library and asked Garth, my assistant, "did you find any yet?" They discussed where they used to find them, how to keep them after they've been picked, and how much they are selling for right now ($35 a pound!!!) Well, I am new to this local phenomenon. I had never even seen, much less tasted these highly-revered fungi before. Until Friday, when one of my regular patrons called me at the library and wanted to know if I wanted any morels. She brought me an entire grocery bag full of them and told me how to cook them. I was so excited to finally find out what all the excitement was about, plus I felt pretty special that she was willing to give some to me! Joey and I fried them on Sunday night. They were pretty good. Perhaps not as good as I thought they would be, but I think we soaked them in too much salt. I just liked the way they looked. I kept thinking, how did anyone ever stumble upon these in the woods and think, "Those look awfully tasty, I think I will fry them up?!"
They look like they came from a fairy tale.
Yesterday, Joey finally got the lawn mowed. There was so much grass that Joey was able to rake all the clippings up and give them to the sheep to munch on. I think they liked it a little too much. Molly (our piggy sheep) was swollen up with bloat from eating too much fresh grass and everyone else had green noses. We had to give them some dry hay to balance out the fresh grass and calm their gassy stomachs.
Addicted to grass
Yesterday Joey discovered more babies on our little farm. When he was putting hay in the sheep barn he could hear hungry baby birds calling out for food and found them inside the skull of a cow that Joey had hung up on the wall. He called me outside and we peeked down inside at the naked little birds. The mother was very clever creating her nest down inside the skull. All she had to do was add a few feathers and voila! I guess there are all sorts of things growing around you if you take the time to look, either on the forest floor or inside an old skull.