For wild mushroom enthusiasts, springtime signals another season for hunting morels. For those looking for a paycheck, morel mushroom season spells gold rush.
This tasty delicacy of the forest typically grows among fallen elm trees and can fetch a pretty penny. Besides being a great way to reconnect to your hunter-gatherer roots, morels are reportedly selling anywhere from $38 to $43 per pound in Oregon, with prices reaching even higher in years past.
One reason morels are so valuable is because they are extremely difficult to cultivate. This rare delicacy is found mostly in the upper parts of North America and Europe. Unlike chanterelles, which appear mostly in the fall, morels are most abundant in the springtime, though late fall flourishes have been known.
In Michigan, morels are said to be everywhere. Mike Shira with Michigan State Extension Service told the local CBS affiliate morels were appearing throughout the state. He said the best places to look are generally around fenced roads or wooded areas especially downed elms or poplar trees. Active mosquitoes are another good sign because mushrooms like a similarly warm and moist environment.
Morels also thrive after forest fires as was evident in a recent Seattle Times report about a trip to a pine forest last fall where a small fire had taken place. It was there they found patches of morels at the edges of the burned area.
Before going out mushroom hunting experts advice checking a guidebook.
Photo credit: Mushroom lover Bill Windsor showed off a small collection of morel mushrooms he found recently. The morels have a meaty flavor. Denver Post photo by Karl Gehring. (4-26-03) (Photo By Karl Gehring/The Denver Post via Getty Images)