Sunday, February 21, 2010

Willow Sweet Pea Support


You know those rustic woven willow obelisks that look
so cute with vines growing all over them? They look
pretty simple to make, right?
Yeah, that is what I thought too...

I have some little sweet peas that are going to need
something to climb on and since I am surrounded by
willow trees I felt it would be the perfect
solution to quickly throw together some willow
obelisks. Never mind the internet instructions
from BBC gardening that said to allow 2 hours per
obelisk; it couldn't take that long!

I cut a bunch of small supple willow branches down
by the creek and set up shop in my driveway. I
pushed the seven sturdiest into the soil around
the edge of a pot, gathered the tops together
and wrapped them with thin wire. Then,starting at
the very bottom, I started weaving the branches: over,
under,over, under...As it started getting a little
weird shaped, I realized.. this is not going to be
as easy as I thought....


Two hours later, I'm still not done but I am
getting there. Just a few more branches to
weave in. It may not be the poster child
for "pretty" but this baby has got 'rustic'
written all over it.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Golden Opportunity


I am so excited to share about my latest adventure:
hunting for wild mushrooms, specifically the golden
chanterelle. I have been wanting to go "shrooming"
with somebody for years and today I got to go!
Wild mushroom hunters are a little reluctant to
share their secret spots and I don't blame them.
Enter my friend Whitney who generously offered
to take me with her and show me the ropes.

The chanterelles don't exactly stand up and shout
"Hey YOU, over here!" So you have to look for them
in situations they like, under oak trees with a
thick carpet of dead leaves.

Then you train your eye to look for that golden color.
Usually it is just dead leaves, but sometimes it is
a chanterelle mushroom barely peeking through.
Posted by Picasa

Working carefully, if you brush away the leaves
and dirt, you expose the whole cap of the
chanterelle and you can see how big your
find is.

We didn't use knives. Just carefully reached
under and detached the shroom. Here Whitney
is holding a freshly harvested chanterelle.

After several hours of hiking and hunting we
returned with our "pot of gold" , a few
pounds of the golden chanterelles, enough to
share with a few good friends.

A big 'THANK YOU!' to my M.M.(Mushroom Mentor) Whitney!

There was no 'poaching' involved in the
harvesting of these shrooms. It was all
done on public access land (my lips are
sealed as to the locations). Also no
animals were harmed in this production
with the exception of myself ( I had to
take two Advil and a hot bath afterwards!!)