Sunday, May 26, 2013

secretly hoping for mushrooms

Mostly our weekends on the farm are busier than our week days. The farmer boys are away so we have all the farm chores to do, the girls are at home so there's lots of food-making and playing and organising to do. Then there's the music lessons, the plays with friends and the parties to taxi to and from. And finally, if there's any time left, there's a little socialising, or gardening, or relaxing of our own.

Somehow this morning, after breakfast but before lunch, we ended up with a little pocket of time to spare.

Miss Jazzy had gone out with a friend, Miss Indi had a friend in her room, and my farmer boy, my smallest farmer girl and I put our boots on and wandered down the hill in search of adventure. We took a knife and a basket along too because we were secretly hoping for mushrooms.

We headed straight to our pine forest. The old owner of our farm planted the forest, thinking it would support his retirement. I don't think we'll ever cut them down though: the chooks love it in there over winter and we just like having those tall thin trees around.

To be honest, I've never been mushrooming before. I'm not sure I would even like the taste of wild mushrooms. But I like the thought of hunting for them. And I love how much more you notice when you're nosing around the rows of trees. And pretty much everyone else around Daylesford is mushrooming at this time of the year, so I thought we may as well have a go too.

But we didn't find any edible ones. We found great big trippy looking toadstools and teeny weeny fairy looking stools, but no slippery jacks and no pine mushrooms.

We did find lots of other treasures to fill our basket with though: leaves and feathers and pine cones and stones. And we did get grazed by blackberry thorns and remember the forgotten hazelnut orchard. And we climbed on top of tree stumps and discussed where the goats will live and admired the job the gorse muncher did.

And after all that we did end up finding some amazing, proper treasures. But it's late and I have to get sorted for school, so I'll save that bit of the story for tomorrow. It's pretty exciting though.

Oh yeah, and late afternoon, after we came in from collecting the eggs, Miss Jazzy came home with a basket full of slippery jacks. So I guess now I have to work out what to do with them. Any suggestions?

I hope you have a happy and wonderful week my friends.
I've got nothing big planned but loads to do.

Bye. xx


  1. Looks like a beautiful time was had. Can't wait to hear about your treasures!

    The last time I had slippery jacks was in a forest mushroom, spanish onion and goats cheese tart - divine! They're pretty great in risottos too. (I used this one -,15117 - as a guide, but simplified it to what we had on hand.) I'm sure whatever you do will be delicious.

    Sar xx

  2. You're wondering what to do with the slippery jacks. I'm wondering what a gorse muncher is. Can anyone fill me in?

    1. Gorse is a spikey bushy plant that once it gets into an area can completely take over.
      A gorse muncher probably has a proper name but it is a machine that mulches the gorse down to ground level and weakens the plant. The parts of our farm we've just had degorsed look amazing

  3. I'm sorry, hazelnut orchard? Please can I move in with you? I'm quiet and tidy and don't mind hard work. Actually, I'm not very quiet. x

  4. I love the pictures of the littlest farmer...the one with the basket on the bum made me laugh out loud...

  5. This looks like a faerytale (especially with those mushrooms!) :) Her mismatched boots are ridiculously cute.

  6. Lovely photos of your little farmer girl. I'm guessing slippery jacks are a type of mushroom - can't wait to hear what you did with them.

  7. I found your blog yesterday and love it. Everyday from now on I want to browse a bit through your blog until I'll reach the beginning. I love the pictures from your country life. They're looking so colourful and peaceful. Probably it's not as peaceful as it looks but let me dream. I wish you some extra sunshine for the next week.

  8. A pine forest and a hazelnut orchid?! The wonders of that property never cease Kate! What a wonderful place to explore for mushrooms. I've never been foraging. I would need a more experienced guide or I might end up in a hospital waiting room. Were I to have a basket full though I think maybe a noodle and veg stir fry might be in order.

    Nothing big planned but loads to do sounds much like my week too. Though I do get to pick up my new glasses today. Hooray! It feels like the last part of all the eye surgeries and hassles. Looking forward to putting it behind me. :)

  9. Bad year for mushrooms because of the dry weather, but there are a few about. I didn't really love slippery jacks when I tried them, but I adore the saffron Milk Caps (pine mushrooms. I heard on 3RRR radio that they make a great poor man's porcini when dried, think I might try this next time I find some. You cut off the slippery bit and cutting off spongey spores is optional, then dry.

  10. I always thought you couldnt eat mushrooms that grew under pine trees as they were not good for you. I remember a few years ago now we had edible ones growing in our naturestrip because of all the rain. I havent seen any around for quite a while though. I hope you find some nice edible ones soon.

  11. I no can no longer go foraging for mushrooms in the place I'm living, but in a previous home we'd pack up and go into the pine forests for the morning. Lunch would be saffron milkcaps and slippery jacks, cooked with lots of butter, and eaten with toast made over the campfire. Bliss!

  12. mushrooming was one of my favourite things to do when I was growing up, especially when it was with both mum and dad, there was always so much more than mushrooms to discover. Your pictures make me want to be that gorgeous little girl of yours, such fun!

  13. Oh. That girl and her boots. Just divine x

  14. Sounds like a great adventure, being out in that forest of yours! To have your own forest must be heavenly..a great place to think and wander..I think I now have 'forest envy'..hehe!

  15. Oh I can't believe youve never been mushrooming before! I thought it would have been the quintessential daylseford/farmer thing to do! We went foraging last weekend too...I wont tell you we filled three bug buckets of pine mushrooms (or rositti's we call them)in a i wont ;-) xx

  16. My boys brought home baskets of morels last week. Yumminess all around!
    I love foraging, don't you?


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