MANKATO, Minn. — Late April and early May with plenty of rainfall and warm temperatures signals to Morel mushroom hunters it’s time to get in the woods and look for one of the most sought after wild mushrooms. Morels are found in many parts of the world. There are many websites and resources available to learn more about edible wild mushrooms. (Note: all mushrooms are not edible, many are highly poisonous, know what you are picking)
Besides mushrooms, wild edible fruits and nuts are found in Minnesota’s forests and woodlands. An excellent wild gatherers resource is the Minnesota Harvester Handbook which addresses sustainable natural resource harvest practices and uses. This resource was developed by the University of Minnesota Extension with many contributors. Copies can be purchased at the Minnesota Bookstore: http://z.umn.edu/mhh
The Minnesota Harvester Handbook showcases sustainable harvest and gathering for more than twenty familiar, and some unusual, non-timber forest products. This publication reviews many popular mushrooms including: Morel, Oyster, King Bolete, Sweet tooth, Lobster, Chicken-of-the-woods, Hen-of-the-woods and Chanterelle.
Mushroom hunters that want to learn more about edible mushrooms should consider the resources and memberships offered by the Minnesota Mycological Society. http://minnesotamycologicalsociety.org/
Another helpful resource is the U.S. Forest Service, Field Guide to Common Macrofungi. http://z.umn.edu/usfsmushrooms Other helpful information can be found at My Minnesota Woods: http://www.myminnesotawoods.umn.edu/
— Gary Wyatt, UM Extension, Extension Regional Office, Mankato