Alan's Secret Morel & Ramp Spot
Chef Andrea Reusing
Morel season runs for about a month sometime between March 15th and May 15th. Tours of this location are available for one to four people. Note that our other tours at this time do go to places where morels might be found, just not this location. To register or for more info, contact us.
This is Alan's one and only secret morel spot. This secluded cove is located twenty-five minutes north of Asheville, just over the ridge from a 350-acre property held in conservation easement in perpetuity and surrounded by thousands more acres of protected land, including one of the five largest private landholdings in the county. These photos are all of this cove and of morels gathered from it over the years (see also slide show here).
The late George Stuart, a former editor at National Geographic and perhaps the most prominent Mayan scholar in the world, lived nearby. He said that the pre-Cherokee indigenous people of the area, known to archeologists as the “Pisgah People,” chose as their summer grounds this very cove. Old growth surveyor Josh Kelly asserts that this land, abounding in trillium, bloodroot, bellwort, violets, wild turkey, bobcat, bear, and coyote, is some of the richest he has seen anywhere in the region.
The hike into this hidden sanctuary is moderate, climbing 1000 feet up a gentle slope for about half a mile. Please plan on at least a five-hour trip (with an optional picnic, or bring a bag lunch). Participants will not be blindfolded on the approach, but those who attempt to return on their own risk getting lost, prosecuted, eaten by bears, or shot.
|blue humpback blister beetle
related to Spanish fly
|seven-eyed guardian at confluence of two springs looks just like participant's Dali tattoo|
Participants are asked to watch their step (lest they tread on nascent "mushrumps" or snakes) and to take no more than a dozen morel per person so that there are some left for others.
Timing is everything: we do not guarantee that we will find ANY mushrooms. Fortunately, there usually at least at least thirty other common edibles to see at this time of year. Remember, foragers can't be choosers!
If those who owe us nothing gave us nothing, how poor we would be.