July 21, 2018

Growing your own Morels ?

Morels are still essentially a wild product today. For the past twenty years, China has displayed itself as a pioneer in the cultivation of morels. The cultivated areas were negligible there before 2010. They reached 10 000 ha in 2015, but seem to level off at this level. France Morille, who acquired the Chinese patent, is trying to recruit French growers: the results are still too modest to be convincing.  

We know that the morel likes poor, rather alkaline soils, but its occasional appearance requires a fortuitous nutritive contribution. Thus, in 2000, its multiplication around pockets containing colonized substrate (sawdust, wheat, corn, ...) and accidentally abandoned would be the key to Chinese innovation. The phenomenon does not happen again for a third or even a second year in a row: you have to move. It is still unclear what is the proper nutritional supplement. The appearance of the fungus depends closely on climatic conditions. Covered cultivation, which would make it possible to escape this hazard, is very expensive.

Uncertainties therefore open up many fields of research but it is a safe bet that wild morel will continue to enhance our gastronomy. 

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