LANSING – They’re found in every county in our state, but you still might be tempted to go full cloak-and-dagger or blindfold your friends before heading out to your favorite spot – it’s that time of year, the annual Michigan treasure hunt that is morel month!
Morel mushrooms are a beloved forest treat that emerge in springtime, usually when warm weather arrives following a good rain. Look for their pitted, bumpy profiles near hilly areas with hardwood trees and around burn scars where a wildfire or prescribed burn has happened.
Before you head into the forest to search for a patch, make sure you know how to properly identify morels for safety; there are wild mushrooms in Michigan that can make you seriously ill. All wild mushrooms should be cleaned and fully cooked before enjoying.
Learn the basics about morel mushrooms from the DNR at Michigan.gov/MiMorels. You’ll find a map of last year’s prescribed burn and wildfire areas on public lands to point you in the direction of locations where morels could grow. Find more advanced mushroom information from the Midwest American Mycological Information website.
Be aware that morels and other foraged finds on state-managed lands are for personal use only and not for resale.
Want to sell morels or other foraged mushrooms? Michigan’s food code requires certification to lawfully sell wild mushrooms. Get certified through a partner program offered by MAMI.
To learn more about wild-foraged foods and how to get started, visit Michigan.gov/Foraging or contact Rachel Coale at 517-930-1283.
Spring/summer wild mushroom clinics – if you’re looking for some expert-led guidance and hands-on learning on how to identify, find, clean and consume a variety of wild mushrooms, sign up for upcoming wild mushroom clinics at Mitchell State Park in Cadillac May 29, June 19, July 10 and Aug. 20.