This past Sunday the South Bend Adventure Club ventured out to hunt morel mushrooms in a woods in Plymouth, Indiana. As it turns out, we should have called this event a foraging hike rather than a mushroom hunt as we found many wild growing food items to try, but not one morel mushroom. It seems it’s still just a little too early in Northern Indiana for the illusive morel mushroom.
On a positive note, it was a cool yet sunny and beautiful Sunday morning for a group hike. It’s also fun to explore an area that is not open to the general public (although we did have permission to hike the area.) We traveled through a field, into a thick portion of woods, and after about 30 minutes stepped into the beautiful part of the woods. There were many wildflowers blooming: Dutchman’s Breeches, Squirrel Corn, Spring Beauty, Jack in the Pulpit, Cutleaf Toothwort, Trillium as well as many purple and yellow wild violets.
Many hikers were diligent about removing a invasive species known as Mustard Weed. Kerry & Frank had spent time the day before helping to remove this weed so they were very familiar with it. This is a edible plant but it can take over a area quickly. One of the members, Eric, introduced the rest of us to another edible plant – the Ramp, also known as a Wild Leek. These have a oniny/leek flavor, but are a bit sweeter. Apparently many well known chefs are starting to use these ramps in their recipes. We also harvested Wild Garlic.
Another highlight of the hike was when Stephanie spotted a Pleated Woodpecker. These are a large woodpecker with red on their head.
It was a wonderful way to spend a Sunday morning, and while we didn’t find any mushrooms this time it will make the time we do find them even that much better.