(07/13/2013)

In local woodland, the site of Chanterelle mushrooms is very common this summer. The abundant rainfall combined with moderate temperatures has created ideal conditions for a banner growing season for the woodland delicacy.

By Forester Russ Richardson

Prized for their rich flavor, Chanterelle mushrooms are a hot commodity in urban restaurants and farmers markets anywhere close to a city. In the backwoods of Calhoun County, some enterprising individuals are peddling the mushrooms they are picking to friends and neighbors while others like eating them almost as much as Morels.

Most of the time Chanterelle mushrooms will appear as little orange buttons on the ground, often in the middle of an ATV trail or old woods road. Patches of Chanterelles can reappear and develop in the same location for years and good harvesting practices, such as harvesting with a knife can prolong the life of a Chanterelle patch indefinitely.

The only drawback to the heavy thundershowers we have been having recently is that mature Chanterelles can get waterlogged and debris from the forest floor can splash onto the mushrooms making process of preparing them for cooking much more time consuming.

Normally, Chanterelle mushrooms will show up shortly after the first day of summer and they can be found into mid-August or for as long as the weather stays damp. In drought years, they are very uncommon.

However, unlike morel mushrooms (above) where almost everyone keeps a count of how many they pick in a day, it is possible to find a good patch fill a grocery bag with Chanterelles in less than an hour.


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