Spring has come and it is time to forage for many wild edible foods! Morel mushrooms are a favorite for me and very easy to ID. They are a truly wild food and have not yet been able to be grown in labs, making them the “anarchist mushroom.” (thanks Kevin Tucker for your wit)
First sign of a morel (still growing)
Here is some simple advice for beginners that has helped me get to know my local area. If you can afford a book it’s great to take out in the field with you. Libraries usually offer some sort of local field guides. You can learn a lot by going out to a wild area and looking up what you see in a guide. Guides are usually broken up into sections described by leaf and/ or petal shape, color, season, etc and you will learn a lot by searching for what you see around you. If searching for edibles a guide will usually list poisonous looks alikes so you know what to avoid. They also include suggestions to avoid as a beginner if there are multiple poisonous look alikes.
Bring a friend or go solo but GET OUT THERE! I was taught many foraging tips from experienced friends who took me out for hikes. I never spotted morels before and they taught me how and where to really look. Now every spring I’m out with someone new getting them stoked on foraging too. Calm your mind and get your hands dirty. You will not regret learning how to do this. The importance of connecting with your food can not be overstated.
My book suggestion is “Mushrooms Demystified” by David Arora
It’s a hefty book with a ton of great information and photos.
Please share some of your favorite titles/resources/tips!