2022 Michigan Morel Season is Here!

Mushrooms on Pine View Golf Course by Corey Seeman

Mushrooms on Pine View Golf Course by Corey Seeman

My Michigan morel mushroom groups are starting to light up with mushroom finds so it’s a good time to remind folks that May is morel month in Michigan!

The actual fruiting period can be anywhere from late April until mid-June depending on where you are in the Mitten & what species you are hunting. Contrary to common belief, morels are not confined to the northern part of the state – some of the best picking (such as the photo today) can be found in southern Michigan.

MOREL HUNTING TIPS

  • Make your first several mushroom hunts, whether for morels or other edible mushroom species, with someone who knows mushrooms.
  • Buy or download a mushroom guide. A good guidebook is “The Mushroom Hunter’s Field Guide” by Alexander H. Smith, recognized as America’s foremost authority on mushroom identification, and Nancy Smith Weber. There also is a very good mushroom identification booklet available on the U.S. Department of Agriculture website.
  • Be prepared to cover a lot of ground and to experience disappointments when searching for morels. Some spots yield mushrooms year after year, while others skip several seasons between crops.
  • Don’t expect to find morels easily if you are new to the pastime. Because they blend into their background of last fall’s leaves and dead grass, they are hard to see even if you are looking right at them. Your “eye” for morels will sharpen with practice, and you will need to retrain it every spring.
  • Most important of all – know what you are eating! You will need to know the difference between a “true” morel and the “false morels,” such as beefsteak mushrooms, which are poisonous. (See morel identification information.)
  • For more information on morel mushroom hunting in Michigan, visit Pure Michigan or Midwest American Mycological Information.
  • And finally, the Morel tag on Michigan in Pictures is chock full of great advice. Happy hunting!!

Corey took this on May 4th in Ypsilanti last year. Head over to his Flickr for his latest!

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Fat Tuesday is Paczki Day in Michigan!

Kresge Library Services Paczki Day Extravaganza by Corey Seeman

Kresge Library Services Paczki Day Extravaganza by Corey Seeman

A Healthier Michigan has a nice look at the history of Paczki Day in Michigan:

The making and indulging in paczki (pronounced “poonch-key”) dates back to the Middle Ages. During that time, people in Poland would make pastries to use up all of their lard, sugar, eggs and other decadent ingredients before beginning Lent (a period of 40 days where Christians cut out certain foods like sweets or dairy and avoid eating meat on Fridays). Back then, the rich pastries were filled with pork fat. The more modern versions are a lot sweeter, often filled with fruit jelly (commonly raspberry, apple or lemon) or custard and dusted in powdered sugar.

When Polish immigrants came to the United States—especially Midwestern cities like Detroit, Chicago, Green Bay and Cleveland—at the beginning of the 20th century, Paczki Day came with them. And it’s been celebrated here on Fat Tuesday ever since.

FYI, paczkis often clock in at over 1000 calories & 30 grams of fat so no, they are definitely not the best of health foods but a perfect Fat Tuesday treat!!

Corey took a picture of this nice assortment of Paczkis from Benny’s Bakery in Saline back in 2020 at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business library. Head over to Flickr for his latest which includes pics of Runyon, an adorable pup.

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Dig in for Thanksgiving

Pumpkin Pie by PepOmint

Pumpkin Pie by PepOmint

“I love Thanksgiving because it’s a holiday that is centered around food and family, two things that are of utmost importance to me.”
—Marcus Samuelsson

Can’t agree more with Chef Samuelsson!

I’ve featured this photo from PepOMint before on Michigan in Pictures. Sadly, she has passed on but you can view more of her photos in her Bits & Pieces gallery on Flickr.

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Foraging Friday: Black Raspberries growing wild

Black Raspberries Growing Wild in Michigan by Lee Rentz

Black Raspberries Growing Wild in Michigan by Lee Rentz

One of the things I love about summertime in Michigan is stumbling upon a snack when I’m out for a walk! Lee found these beauties near Battle Creek.

Head over to Lee’s Flickr for the latest & also check out his Facebook & leerentz.com to view & purchase prints.

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Celebrate National Farmers Market Week in Michigan!

130 Years at Eastern Market by Eastern Market Partnership

130 Years at Eastern Market by Eastern Market Partnership

August is when the harvest of Michigan’s diverse bounty of farm products really gets going. The Michigan Farmers Market Association invites you to join them in celebration of National Farmers Market Week from August 1-7:

Many of Michigan’s nearly 250 farmers markets will be hosting special events, activities and more to celebrate farmers and vendors, and express appreciation for volunteers and shoppers.

In the midst of a global pandemic, farmers markets — like all other small businesses — have innovated to continue operations for the farmers and communities that depend on them. Market managers have been at the forefront of adapting rapid solutions and innovating to protect staff, customers and the community. When conventional food supply chains faltered at the start of the pandemic, farmers markets and local food systems clearly displayed the resiliency of short supply chains and interest in local foods spiked nationwide.

“2020 was not an easy year, but we know farmers, market managers, and MIFMA staff and board members are no strangers to hard work and overcoming challenges,” said Amanda Shreve, executive director of MIFMA. “As we celebrate 2021’s National Farmers Market Week, we’ve already seen the strength, resiliency and hope we share as a farmers market community, and know our markets will continue to positively impact their communities long beyond this week.”

Head over to the Michigan Farmers Market Association for a list of all the markets in the state!

One of my favorite Michigan farmers markets is the one at Eastern Market in Detroit. You can click the pic to check out their Facebook page & learn more about the work they do at easternmarket.org.

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Corn Days

http://www.leerentz.com/

Corn Days by Mark Smith

Mark got this gorgeous shot on the Leelanau Peninsula. Here’s hoping you get a chance to bite into some delicious Michigan sweet corn! Head over to Downstreamer on Flickr for his latest!

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Fighting for Food Security

Morning Sun by Richard Deming Photography

Morning Sun by Richard Deming Photography

TechCrunch has a feature on a new Google service to help the millions of Americans struggling with food insecurity:

Google today is launching a new suite of resources for people struggling with food insecurity across the U.S. The project includes the launch of a new website “Find Food Support” that connects people to food support resources, including hotlines, SNAP information, and a Google Maps locator tool that points people to their local food banks, food pantries and school meal program pickup locations, among other things.

In an announcement, Google explains how the COVID-19 pandemic fueled a worsening food crisis in the U.S., which led to some 45 million people — or 1 in 7 Americans — experiencing food insecurity at some point during 2020. That figure was up 30% over 2019, the company noted. And of those 45 million people, 15 million were children.

While the pandemic’s impacts are starting to subside as businesses are reopening and in-person activities are resuming, many children will still go hungry during the summer months when school lunch programs become unavailable.

Head over to Google to find food support & be sure to remember your neighbors struggling with food insecurity when you give charitably!

Richard took this photo back in 2010 at the Fulton Street Farm Market in Grand Rapids. See more in his Farmers Markets 2010 gallery on Flickr.

More delicious Michigan food on Michigan in Pictures!

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It’s Asparagus Season in Michigan!

Purple Curl by Mark Smith

Purple Curl by Mark Smith

The Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board says that:

The countdown to the kickoff of the 2021 Michigan asparagus season is officially over, as the seasonal favorite will be making its way to retailers across the nation. As a result of unexpected cooler temperatures at the traditional start of the season, the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board (MAAB) has announced that the production area of West-central Michigan began harvesting and packing this week.

“Because asparagus depends on weather, it does tend to be somewhat unpredictable,” explained Jamie Clover Adams, Executive Director of the MAAB. “But as all our Michigan asparagus fans out there will tell you, it is a veggie that is well-worth the wait.”

Mother Nature imposed her own plans for the “normal” Mother’s Day season, with near or below freezing night temperatures delaying the start of the harvest for about a week.

Fresh Michigan asparagus is definitely something I stop for at roadside stands. You can get some great asparagus recipes from the MAAB including the clubhouse leader for my dinner tonight, an Asparagus Bacon & Cheese Tart – YUM!!

Mark took this photo a few years ago & you can see more in his Garden gallery on Flickr.

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2021 Michigan Morel Season is here!

White Morel by Rick Wolanin

White Morel by Rick Wolanin

This week I’ve started to see people posting their finds in the various morel hunting groups I’m in, so it’s time to declare the 2021 season officially underway! Michigan in Pictures has a ton of information about Michigan morels, including hunting tips & how to avoid the mildly toxic false morel.

Rick took this photo back in May of 2014 near Boyne City (home to a bangin’ morel festival) and you can see more in his Morel Mushrooms taken within 5 miles of Boyne City gallery on Flickr.

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Sap Season in Michigan

Maple Sap Harvesting by Davd Marvin

Maple Sap Harvesting by David Marvin

Our recent weather has been perfect for maple sugaring! You can dig into the process at the maple syrup tag on Michigan in Pictures!

Dig into David’s Flickr for more!

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