Go On A Mushroom Treasure Hunt

9 April 2019

Looking for a laundry list of worthless tips about where and how to find morels in Leelanau County? Read no further. What a newbie really needs is some on-the-ground training—someone to actually show you what you’re looking for and how to recognize the perfect conditions for finding it. By Bob Butz | Adventurist

It’s almost morel season, an annoying time of year for people who love eating the delicious little fungus yet are unskilled at finding them. Sometime around the end of April, your social media feed becomes inundated with so-called friends who take great glee in blasting out status reports announcing how many they’re finding. (Good luck getting them to share their secret spots.) And pictures. Lots of close-up pictures of morels popping up through the sunny green grass and leave litter found in orchards and aspen groves.

Morel Mushroom (Photo Credit: Associated Press)

It’s rare to find a local morel hunter willing reveal their secret spot. And some on-the-ground experience is really what a newbie needs; preferably, in a place one can actually find a few. In addition to being able to recognize perfect morel growing conditions just being able to see the Waldo-like morel in the leaf litter is a skill onto itself.

Glen Arbor’s Kelly Harris is a certified Michigan Mushroom Identification Expert. Licensed through the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Harris attended a workshop in 2016 and passed a test that had her identifying 26 species of edible and poisonous mushroom species.  She now sells mushrooms commercially in Leelanau County and regularly hosts groups and private individuals who want to learn more about how to find edible mushrooms on their own. 

As passionate about mushrooms as she is about educating others on how to do safely, Harris does not charge a set rate for her service. She accepts donations, usually around $20. To get in touch with Harris and arrange a “mushroom treasure hunt,” check out her public group Facebook page—Moonshine & Mushrooms (click here)—and send her a PM. 

[Image source: Associated Press]