There is maybe a two week time period every spring when all of the fields where we live turn bright purple. To be more accurate I might call it magenta, or fuchsia. It’s real pretty. Some years it is brighter and more wide-spread than others. The little plant that’s responsible for this sea of color is called henbit. It looks like this…
(There are also a lot of these white blooms, but I’m not sure what those are called.) Henbit grows wild, it’s not planted, and it’s really classified as a weed. Here is something interesting – over the course of the past several years it has become really obvious that there is more and more henbit growing in the fields in our part of the world. That’s because most farmers have adopted the no-till method of farming. No-till farming means that instead of plowing the fields each spring, turning over the dirt to prepare it for planting, farmers are skipping that step and planting their crops into soil that hasn’t been disturbed. I won’t go into all the nitty-gritty details of this method, but it reduces the amount of soil erosion, and increases the amount of water and nutrients in the dirt. Both good things. And, I guess one of the side effects is that wildflowers, or weeds, like henbit are more able to thrive and spread. That’s an added bonus, in my opinion. So, now when you see one of those fields covered in tiny purple blooms, you know why!
And, guess what else is growing right now?
Yep, it’s morel season. Morel mushrooms.
They look kind of strange, but roll them in a cornmeal batter and fry them in a little oil, and you won’t care what they look like. They’re good.
Last weekend I went along on a little mushroom hunt at our favorite mushroom hunting spot. I can’t tell you where that is, it’s a secret. Really. A few of my family members may have me taken out if I reveal the exact location. All I can say is that it’s a little bit of a hike. Over some fences, across a pasture, jump a little creek, and you’re there. Wear your boots, because it can get messy.
Morels can be tricky. They have a very short growing season, and you have to time it just right. I like to eat them, but I think the best part is going out to find them. It ended up that we picked a pretty good day. Successful hunt.
:: Carrie ::