Morel Mushroom Hunting

I love to spend time looking for treasures. Whether I’m on a beach looking for shells, scouring a lake shore for agates, digging in an abandoned dump for old glass bottles or searching for blueberries it doesn’t seem to matter because I have fun looking.  One thing I have not gotten into is mushroom hunting.

I suppose I haven’t been interested in picking mushrooms because they are not an all time favorite food of mine.  With over 900 species found in Minnesota and some of them poisonous I never thought I would want to take the risk in picking the wrong kind. There are books, websites and workshops where a person can learn about the different types of mushrooms but it sounds like lots to learn.

Since I love to spend time hiking in the woods it would make sense for me to take the time to learn more about mushrooms. Hunting for mushrooms could keep me busy from spring until fall because different ones grow at different times.

I know hunting morels was very popular after the Ham Lake Fire.  They thrive in recently burned forests and are a real delicacy. Here’s some information I found about morels in an article by Hannah Ettema.

The morel mushroom occurs in late spring on forested landscapes that were recently burned by wildfire . Although we don’t know a lot about these much sought-after mushrooms, these delicacies often occur in massive quantities.

Key indicators for locating morel mushrooms include:

  • soil moisture,
  • precipitation patterns,
  • forest canopy cover, and
  • fire intensity.

It’s not unheard of for seasoned mushroom hunters to harvest nearly 50 pounds in a single day…

I found morels fruiting in the holes created by burned out tree roots. I found morels beneath the canopy of a dying trees. I found morels growing solitarily and in clusters. In some spots, I couldn’t walk more than five paces without locating another “honey-hole” where there were five or more morels growing close to each other.

One of these days I’ll have to take the time to learn more about mushrooms. Until then I think I’ll stick to finding them in the produce aisle at the grocery store.

Mushroom Hunting

Mushroom Hunting

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