During the fall, spring, and winter I enjoy foraging for wild mushrooms in our fields as well as the surrounding woods. We don’t get many of the exciting varieties that Bay Area mushroom hunters treasure, like chanterelles or morels. But there are tasty varieties that are easy to identify and find.
2019 has been a good winter for mushrooms, as they love rain and constant humidity. It hasn’t been such a good year for farming though. We always count on wet weather during the winter, and into spring. But we also count on having a dry spell here and there, and we have a list of priorities to get done. We haven’t had enough breaks in the weather this year to cross many items off that list, and as the wet weather has continued through March and now into April, the list just keeps getting longer.
In years like this, we sometimes find ourselves also foraging for your CSA boxes — but for produce instead of mushrooms. (Note: We would never include foraged wild mushrooms in your CSA boxes).
Take spinach, for example. Most years, we would have long ago tilled under our weedy spinach plantings from the fall. But this year it’s been to do wet to do it. So the spinach just keeps growing. Harvesting it is exasperatingly inefficient but we are still thrilled to have it. If you like spinach, you’ve been liking your boxes this year, even if you’ve been finding a few more weeds in it than usual.
The celery in your boxes a couple of weeks ago was also “foraged”. It came from the same field we had been harvesting back in December and normally would have tilled in shortly after. The plants had either regrown from the roots, or perhaps had been to small to cut back in 2018. Either way, it was an unexpected and pleasant surprise to find it out in a field we hadn’t taken a close look at in months.
As far as filling your CSA boxes, though, I would greatly prefer predictability to surprise.