Fun on the Farm in the Spring

Grandma Kc wrote this on May 16th, 2014 21 Replies

This is a special memory from my own childhood.

Recently I’ve seen many pictures of crab apple trees blooming and they bring childhood memories flooding back. Springtime always reminds me of some of the fun things we did with Daddy as little girls growing up on that big farm.

Crabapple with bee collage by Debra at Frugal Little Bungalow

Photo by Debra at Frugal Little Bungalow

Remember the crab apple orchard that we were always careful to keep the horses out of? About this time of year, Daddy would take Judy and me back to that crab apple orchard to pick morel mushrooms. According to The Great Morel website old apple orchards are one of the best places to find these amazing treats! But even if you know where they grow and what you are looking for it is really difficult to spot them – they are very camouflaged. So Daddy would point them out and we were “supposed” to take turns picking them and putting them in the bucket that he would carry. Judy cheated! She would conveniently forget she picked the last one but we still had fun and it was time spent with Dad. When we were exhausted, we would take them home to mom who would wash them, dredge them in flour and fry them up in butter! She didn’t even like them – more for us!

Two bowls of fresh picked Morel mushrooms. Photo by my niece.

Photo by my niece in Michigan

Then there was the asparagus that had somehow sprouted up along the lane that went back to the gravel pit. Daddy was so excited but wouldn’t let us pick any of it for the first 2 years. I was so happy and it was such a fun adventure when we could finally start picking it! We weren’t allowed to use knives like he did and I remember him teaching us how to snap off the spears near the ground. Such fun!

I would like to forget the rhubarb that grew at the end of the cornfield. I hated rhubarb! I wouldn’t even participate in going with Dad and Judy to pick it. It really was beautiful in the field and it did smell wonderful while it was being baked into a pie – but it tastes disgusting! I used to get so aggravated that something could smell so good and taste so bad. It was torture having to smell the aroma of a baking pie for over an hour and then not get to eat it. What a waste of perfectly good piecrust!

I’m sure springtime was hard for Dad what with working a full time job and trying to take care of the farm and the planting but for us springtime on the farm was always fun.

PS One of the few thing California lacks is Morel mushrooms! I do miss them!

21 thoughts on “Fun on the Farm in the Spring

    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      I have tried it a couple of times since and I still hate it! I also found out when I was little that you cannot successfully eat around the rhubarb in a strawberry-rhubarb pie! It can be very frustrating!

      Reply
  1. debra@ HOMESPUN

    LOL now while many people around my area love the morel and go out to find them, I don’t like mushrooms but I like rhubarb! My grandparents had it in their garden and there was nothing like a good rhubarb / strawberry pie or dessert ! I used to make it when my sons were little too…now you have me wanting to do that soon, when our strawberries here are in season.

    I wonder if your dad ever went out picking dandelion greens? My grandparents did not do that but the Italians around here did / do and then made a bacon dressing for it. I was never too wild about that :)

    Reply
  2. Sandy

    Such sweet memories! We just found some mushrooms this week! And we had fresh asparagus for the first time this spring! It’s a great time to live in Michigan!

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      That doesn’t even seem right! You can’t eat mushrooms. I think you should overnight them to me!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I do think next trip needs to be next May – mushrooms, asparagus, lilacs and all the trees budding!

      Reply
  3. Joyce

    Your wonderful story reminds me of picking things at grandma’s. She grew rhubarb and I loved the look of those red stalks with the huge leaves. The only time I’d eat it (after the first unpleasant bite!) was in grandma’s wonderful pies.
    Grandma was a fan of “mushrooming” and mom and dad would take her to the woods for them. I went once but was cautioned not to touch anything because some of them were poisonous. I did love eating them fried in butter with onions.
    We tried growing asparagus right after I was married. We patiently waited the first two years for it to get established – and then it disappeared! How wonderful to have it growing wild!

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      I wish my grandparents had still lived on their farm when I was really old enough to remember it. I think I was about 4 when they sold it to my uncle and moved to town – I just have glimpses of it. She was a wonderful cook but I don’t think even she could get me to eat rhubarb!

      Reply
  4. Olga

    I remember going out to hunt for mushrooms with my parents–such along time ago. I have rhubarb and I like it in a pie–preferably mixed with strawberries or cherries. Mike considered it one of the nuisance vegetables.

    Reply
  5. Launna

    It is great to have such lovely memories of when you were growing up… I sometimes think I don’t have many good ones… but there were a few…

    I don’t like rhubarb either… :)

    Have a really great weekend Kc

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      I have to say that doing these posts about my childhood has really helped me to remember more of the good times! I had forgotten about most of them and was only remembering the bad stuff.

      It has been a wonderful weekend! I helped the PTA sell Popsicles after school Friday – it was only 93 degrees out! Plus Amara spent the night last night so I have had extra hugs! Thank you!

      Reply
      1. Launna

        Thank you for your comment Kc… I think I should write a few of my good stories… my childhood wasn’t all bad, there was some pretty crazy stuff…. but there was some normal things too.. :) xox

        Reply
  6. Vicki @ Grams Made It

    We never had rhubarb when I was growing up. My next-door neighbor is from Iowa and she makes it. When I told her I’d never had it, she brought a couple of slices over for us to try. I must say that I’m with you. It’s not anything I would eat again.

    I can’t imagine morel mushrooms and asparagus growing wild. That would be wonderful!

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      I am serious about planning my next trip to Michigan to coincide with mushroom and asparagus season!

      Reply
  7. An Enchanted Cottage

    I remember my dad talking about going with his mother to pick mushrooms. When I hear stories like yours and his, I just want to travel back in time to experience it myself! All I’ve ever done is pick them out at the grocery store – how BORING! I don’t know if I would like rhubarb pie alone, but I do know I like strawberry rhubarb pie! Our hoppa crab trees did not flower at ALL this spring. What a disappointment – they are usually gorgeous. Wish I could ship a tall oak tree to you :)

    Donna

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      WOW! I had no idea what a “hoppa” crab tree was so I went to Google images and YOUR photo was the 1st one to come up! Impressive! So is that tree – that is beautiful. I wonder why it didn’t bloom. Does it usually have fruit? Will it now? And oh, I do wish you could send me an oak tree! They always make me think of camping and being a Girl Scout. I had my tree badge!

      Reply
  8. Susan Adcox

    Last year we were hiking in Washington state and met some folks gathering mushrooms. We should have tagged along with them and picked some, too, but we were at the end of our hike AND the end of our vacation. So I guess picking mushrooms is still on my bucket list!

    Reply
    1. Grandma Kc Post author

      I am finding that Jenna and most of her friends who were born and raised in California have never heard of a morel mushroom. You’ve still got lots of years to hunt them and they are worth it!

      Reply

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