Well hello and welcome to outdoor oklahoma i’m todd craighead springtime is an exciting time in Oklahoma with the warmer temperatures and longer days well they just seem to usher in a whole host of changes and for the outdoor enthusiasts well it can seem like everything’s happening at once the sand baths are running crappie are spawning and turkeys are gobbling but for some the most.
Anticipated spring event is the appearance of the morel mushroom morels are considered to be by many one of the greatest wild growing edible delicacies in fact it’s likely that you drive by some each spring that’s because morels naturally occur all over our state and with a sharpened sense of what to look for it won’t take you long to fill a basket yourself so to help you enjoy morels.
This spring we’re going to introduce you to mushroom enthusiasts and hunter extraordinaire Marty Leigh my name is Marty Leigh I’ve been an outdoors person my whole life and that’s 50 plus years and I’ve been.
I was taught to hunt morels as a small child so it’s possible that i’ve been doing it for almost 50 years I think that morale mushrooms are very special because they’re very delicious to eat number one but number two they’re special because they only come up during a really small window early in the spring.
Usually three or four weeks in the spring and the morels are gone it gets too hot and and they stopped the fruiting so you have a very limited time frame to go out and find them and that makes them extra special one of the things that I look for when i’m looking for likely places are little drainages like this with a hillside there’s a couple more right here when.
You find one you should always search really good when you’re out hunting for morels and you’re looking scanning the leaves are going to be very difficult to find but when you find one you should always stop don’t move and look around because morels a gregarious where there’s one there are typically more and where there is one that implies that that’s a spot where they’re more likely.
To be than other spots the conditions that make one grow or going to make several of them grow in that particular area I haven’t seen any more yet there may not be any more but we’ll check this area pretty good before we leave this slope right here is perfect because it’s southfacing it’s going to warm up first in the spring and there’s one right.
There behind your boot I either cut them or pinch them I don’t pull them up because i don’t want to deal with the dirt there’s there’s also some controversy among the morel enthusiasts whether you should rip them out of the ground or cut them off or pinch them off personally I either cut them or pinch them.
Mushrooms Change Lives in Africa
Rob: while we have our own struggles here in the heartland, the worlds economy continues to worsen. For Africa, its a crisis that only adds to the ongoing struggle with hunger and crippling poverty. Today, well meet several people right here at home, hoping to help. And we begin with a farm couple who believe growing more mushrooms in Africa could slowly change their standard of living, which is why they visited the continent and have now brought some West African farmers to this country to learn specialized techniques for.
Growing shiitake mushrooms. and thats where our keith smith picks up the story. Keith: Rob, let me tell you about them. The couple youre about to meet has spent over twenty years in the mushroom business growing shiitakes on hardwood logs. Already having a successful operation going and growing, they still want to do more, and heres how theyre making a difference. Keith: If you listen close enough you begin to hear it. While Doug and Sandra Williams grow mushrooms, theyre also helping an.
African nation grow a new industry. his idea; her calling. Sandra: And I think its because he had wanted to grow something in a greenhouse. He wanted to grow something that would help people, something that was low technology and wouldnt harm the environment. Keith: Sandra and Doug traveled to Ghana two years ago to see what they could do with the mushrooms that they knew so well. Sandra: You dont expect the colors and the sounds, and the interactions with people,.
And the warm greeting that you get. here were people who were working very, very hard to earn very little. And it wouldnt take very much to increase their standard of living, increase their productivity. Keith: A door opened, and two of the top African farmers in the country have come to learn how to grow the mushrooms, anything to help a nation on a continent plagued by poverty, where millions face famine and starvation. Bernard Bempah: And we are trying to help the mushroom farmers to get above one dollar.
A day. sandra: okay, then we can start. Now going to work. Proud to work in this farm. Sandra: And then the shitake, as the wood cells go this way, the shitake will grow this way, and it will grow this way. Keith: For the love of learning and the sake of giving. Sandra: Theyre going to be learning how to handle the logs; how to select the logs, a little about cutting the wood. Were going.
To be drilling holes in the logs; putting the spawn, which is the mushroom seed, inside the log, sealing it with hot wax. Doug Williams: You know our operation and how we do it and how long things take and different things, problems, that may crop up. Keith: And to think, what theyre doing today to help almost never happened. Sandra: I came to absolutely hate the business, because it wasnt doing anything for anybody except making money. So I think that meeting.
Bernard and meeting the people in ghana was one of the most consciousnessraising, awarenessraising, loveraising things that has ever happened to me. And I realized that theres something that we could do with our shitake mushrooms that would help other people, then I had a whole new purpose. Bernard Bempah: So we are trying to look at all other means to eliminate poverty through mushroom cultivation. Sandra: People would be more aware of mushrooms, would eat more mushrooms, so the farmers could.
Grow more mushrooms. the people would be healthier. theres a protein deficiency going on there, and shitake mushrooms are very high in protein. Keith: And as the Williams will tell you before a meal, the mushrooms taste pretty good too. Sandra: Theyll be cheaper than meat; and if theyre widely available, it would help all the people in the country. Godwin Baokye: So if were able to sell a new product to our country that is going to let us get additional income. Keith: They hope the tender morsels will change.