The morel mushroom The morel mushroom is an amazing plant. Here's more on this cool kind of fungus.

Yak's Corner

Just for kids

June 22, 1998|By Patricia Chargot, Yak's Corner staffer


WHAT is it?

A morel is one of the tastiest wild mushrooms in North America, and mushrooms are a type of fungus. But a morel mushroom doesn't look anything like an ordinary button mushroom. Its head looks like a piece of sponge with big holes. Morels grow in forests, but they look like something from the ocean floor.

What COLOR is it?

Morels can be ivory, tan, brown, gray or black. They can be small, medium-sized or simply huge. The Yak found some that were about five inches tall on a recent morel-hunting trip. But other hunters have found 12-inchers.

WHERE does it grow?

It can be found all over the world, including most of the United States. But a forest north of Toronto, Ontario, is also supposed to be a mushroomer's paradise. That's what a Canadian mushroomer recently told the Yak. "We've got just as many, but not as many people know about it," he said.

CAN you grow morels?

Morels can be hard to grow, but you can buy a kits and try it. The Yak saw one for $19.95. You can order it by mail by calling Tom or Vicky Nauman at (309) 364-3319. (Leave a message if they don't answer, and they'll get back to you.)

What's IN the kit?

Morel spores that have been injected into little pellets that look like rabbit food. You dissolve the pellets in water, then dump the water in your yard. Then you wait for two years - or even longer. You might get morels - or not. You need the right temperature, the right amount of moisture and the right nutrients. Before you pick or eat anything, check with your parents. They'll be able to help you figure out if what you have is an edible morel or something dangerous to eat.

A Minnesota company is growing morels indoors in Alabama for restaurants, but some people say they don't taste as wild or earthy as those found in the woods. What did the doctor say to the tonsil?

You're so cute I think I'll take you out tonight.

Who tells nursery rhymes while squeezing oranges?

Mother Juice.

Pub Date: 6/22/98

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