One of nature's finest delicacies can be found in your nearby woods or forest; the wild, edible mushroom. To purchase many species of these fungi in the grocery store is very costly and they are often not of the freshest variety.
- The Chanterelle grows in many parts of North America. The 'summer' species of the Chanterelles are a deep yellow color and are in the shape of a trumpet when full-grown. This makes them quite easy to spot in the forest, once you have stumbled upon an area conducive to their growth. Here are some tips on where to find them.
- Go into heavily wooded area. The trees should not be of the pine variety, as this type of mushroom doesn't grow in an exclusive pine forest. The best woods to look for are a woods of a mixed variety; maple, birch, ash, etc. It is fine if there are scattered pine trees too in the woods, just not only pine trees.
- Try to start your search in the heavily mossy areas. The Chanterelle thrives in moss. You can easily spot their brilliant yellow hue against the green of the moss. Mushrooms of this variety do not grow among wild blueberries, so when you come upon a batch of wild blueberries, just pass on by, as you will not find the mushroom there. Depending on where you live, you can look under other plants, such as salal.
- Choose your season. The best time of the year to hunt the wild Chanterelle is late summer and early fall, depending on the amount of rainfall the area has received. Mushrooms must have much rain in order to grow. So, if your hunting area has had a good, wet summer, start your search in late August or early to mid September. If you go out and see small Chanterelles peeking up from the moss, just give them a couple of weeks to mature, then return to the area to harvest.
- Harvest your mushrooms. The mushrooms should be cut off at the base with a sturdy knife when harvesting. If they are pulled out of the ground, they will not be in the same spots the following year. So remember to carry a handy, sharp pocket knife with you.
- Be sure to carry a mushroom picker's guide so you can distinguish the 'real deal' from the poisonous variety. There are species of mushrooms that grow in the same areas as the Chanterelle, but are of the non-edible, toxic variety. If you have doubts that you are picking the correct species, check your guide.
- Never eat a mushroom until you are 100% sure that is is edible. If you have any doubts whatsover, discard!
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