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Mushroom Hunting

February 10, 2009
We found one!

Now I truly feel like a real Berkeleyite- instead of hunting for valentine’s gifts or pre-president’s day sales, we went hunting for chanterelles– which can’t be grown commercially and are prized for culinary endeavors. I mostly used it as an excuse to take pretty pictures while the boys did all the dirty work, but it was awesome to hike around and learn about something that I normally would have scoffed at, not to mention utilizing the great February sunshine that we Californians are so lucky to have. Although it’s apparently too early for prime mushroom season, we did find a few! And don’t worry, we are all still alive and well- as this was merely a “collecting & identifying” expedition. Here are few things I learned:

– Rain boots or other hiking/waterproof shoes and a hand trowel or giant spoon is clutch
– Around our area, the best hunting season seems to be around April (which means I will be back, shroomies)
– Using something like a basket or woven/mesh bag helps knock off and disperse spores
– Chanterelles can range from a pale yellow to a bright orange

For more tips on what to look for and how to properly prepare them, there are lots of good sites:
Wild Harvest
Backwoods Home
Secret Tips from a Commercial Canterelle Hunter (I found this rather amusing)

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