While the nice rains have been falling, the ground has been softening up, and guess what's popping through? Mushrooms! As I walked the pasture on this warm-day-after-the-rain, I found myself drawn to white mounds of mushrooms. The variety that grows in our grassy fields is called Meadow Agaricus. They are related to the white button mushrooms you find in the grocery stores. I gathered up a good handful and carried them home to clean and cook with our beef fillets for tonight's supper. I probably could have picked pounds of them, but some were a little more mature than I wanted, plus I didn't have a vessel -- besides my T-shirt -- to carry them in.
One very excellent article I found about the Meadow Agaricus (or pinks, as they are sometimes called) that helped me to differentiate between these good little mushrooms and their undesirable cousins can be found at Hunter Angler Gardener Cook. I made the recipe at the end of the article to go with our grilled steaks and pan fried brussels sprouts. It was sure delicious!
I can't remember if I mentioned it here before, but I planted some mushroom spawn this spring into my potato patch underneath the straw. I hope to be harvesting oyster and shiitake varieties. I lifted a small area of straw yesterday and saw that the 'shrooms are doing their thing. I hope to see some buttons popping up soon.
(Can you spot two meadow agaricus in the pasture?)
While I was out walking and picking up mushrooms, the kids came by and asked if I'd walk up with the sheep and help move them over the hill and into a new little pasture. You remember that we lambed our big herd of sheep in February, but we always throw the bucks in with the ewes later on to see if we can get a few more lambs in May when we are mostly done calving. There are about 20 head of ewes that will have May lambs. I love seeing baby lambs on green grass like this. I even think they smell different than the February lambs. We had to gather them up and put them in the sheep barn for a night or two when there was a hard rain, and I picked up a set of newborn, twin lambs that were slow to follow their mother to the barn. I just loved sniffing their earthy, woolly scent. The ewes will finish having their lambs in this fresh pasture. I think they were happy to go.
I found out today that the Wool Warehouse where we take our wool to be sold, found a buyer for our wool. It's a small processing company that cleans, cards, and spins the wool to make yarn. It's called Green Mountain Spinnery in Putney, Vermont. The warehouse owner told me that this company is very selective, and they only buy a set amount of raw wool each year. They are most concerned about producing a quality product using their vintage machinery and methods, and they want to support good, American sheep growers who care about all aspects of raising excellent flocks. He told me that if this company likes the wool they receive, they will be back for more next year. We are hopeful that our sheep fleeces meet their high expectations.
May is almost done. I hope you're enjoying "green pastures and meadow mushrooms" and everything good where you live. Thank you for stopping by.