Even though the snow has returned as a reminder that winter is not quite over, it is exciting to start thinking and planning for spring weather and all that is has to offer.
In early spring, a great outdoor activity that is fun for the whole family is mushroom hunting, specifically the elusive Morel. As a matter of fact, Michigan is a great state to do this. The annual Morel Mushroom Festival has been held in Boyne City, MI for more than 50 years.
A lot of people are off put by the potential to find poisonous and sometimes deadly species of mushrooms. With the right resources, it can be easy to avoid the bad ones and just enjoy the experience. Here at KDL, we have quite a few books that will help any new explorer and offer great tips for even the most skilled mushroom hunter.
Since many have dubbed Michigan “shroomers paradise”, it seems quite fitting to include some local authors who have traversed many of our state parks and forests on their own.
How to Find Morels is written by an experienced mushroom hunter Milan Pelouch who is also a lover of the morel mushroom. This book is packed full of great ideas, tips, tricks, etiquette, and how to preserve mushrooms.
Morel Mushrooms in Michigan and Other Great Lake States is a commemorative book of the Morel Mushroom Festival. It includes great information along with a few recipes.
For the mushroom hunter beginner, there are quite a few helpful books in our collection that are great at identifying different mushroom species. Here are two that I found to be most helpful.
100 Edible Mushrooms by Michael Kuo includes great information on edible mushrooms, including poisonous look-a-likes for each one. They are also separated for beginners, experience required, and difficult. It is a great book for a beginning hunter to get started on identifying different species and also learning about each one.
Mushrooms by Thomas Laessoe is a great visual encyclop
edia guide for identifying different species. Each page is dedicated to a species and includes spore deposit, size, habitat, range, and fruiting along with pictures of the mushroom, a top/side view, and an underside shot of the gills (if applicable). If you are a visual learner, this is a great book for you.
After cultivating so many tasty wild mushrooms, they must be eaten! Check out this great cookbook Shroom by Becky Selengut that is full of wonderful recipes to test out your culinary skills. Becky also includes great information on harvesting.
Don’t forget to dress for the weather, as Michigan in the springtime can be unpredictable, and pack well for a hike in the woods.