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Foraging for Morels - MSP

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So having just decided to do the Bayport Cookery morel feast i was most dissapointed to learn of its closing.

I was curious if anyone had successfully gone out hunting these little guys and if so if there were tips or recommendations to assist me.

Further, does anyone know of any individuals/organization/companies which have foraging (and perhaps eating) events?

Willing to travel within a few hours of the twin cities, and an overnight/camping adventure is not out of the question.

I noticed that there is an event in early may at Whitewater state park in Elba, MN that sounds like a wildflower/mushrooming walk, which i would consider but didnt sound ideal.

Expert tips and things to avoid (other than poisoning) are appreciated.

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  1. Contact the Minnesota Mycological Society for their meetings and events.

    There's really only one tip I know of: I have yet to meet a forager who has ever suggested venturing out without the accompaniment of someone who is expert in differentiating the local mushroom species.

    http://www.minnesotamushrooms.org/

    1. Slow Food Minnesota has a "Wild About You Foraging Dinner" event coming up in May: http://www.slowfoodmn.org/events.html

      I'm not sure that it will include foraging, but if you scroll down on that page to the Past Events section, and click on last year's May wild foods event, you'll see that morels were definitely included.

      I've emailed Jane to ask her specifically if there will be some morel hunting. Will come back and post her answer.

      2 Replies
      1. re: clepro

        Thank you. An KT i was definitely looking for professional, or at least experienced, assistance/guidance with this. Though in poking around and doing some research into types of morels and related mushrooms it would seem like there arent too many similar looking species that could kill me I wasnt about to go runing around the backyard sticking things in my mouth.

        1. re: tex.s.toast

          Stay tuned re: the Slow Food event,. Plans will be firm in a week or so. I'll try to remember to come back here and post the final answer, tex.s.toast.

          Another suggestion: send a note to Mitch Omer at Hell's Kitchen. He's an enthusiastic mushroom hunter, and might be able to help.

      2. Hi. I go with my brothers up north... near Detroit lakes. Be careful because there is one type of mushroom that is a fake morel. it looks almost identical but has a what looks like a cob web inside the stem, it is hard to tell the diff if you have no experience and will make you very sick. The coon rapids dam park area is a hot spot in the cities as well as Carlos Avery. Look for birch trees... areas that have moisture but warm up in the sunlight afternoon. Little green reeds and moss are also famous growing areas, near rotting fallen trees... Once you find one, stop and really look around... they grow in clusters. Morel hunting is a family tradition... like an adult treasure hunt with a tasty end.

        1 Reply
        1. re: peechykeen

          Hey peechykeen, that was some good news! We live in Moorhead and I haven't been out morel hunting since I moved to Minnesota from northern Michigan about 14 years ago!

          About when do the morels show up around Detroit Lakes? Without giving away your favorite spots, could you give me a better idea of which direction - and how far away from - Detroit Lakes is best for finding morels?

        2. Hi again, tex.s.toast.

          Slow Food's foraging Wild About You event is up: http://www.slowfoodmn.org/events.html. It'll be in May in Lake City, MN, with foraging guides leading various forays into the fields and woods. Menu features braised elk, wild rice, nettles, ramps, mushrooms, wild greens and asparagus, Crofut wine, FlatEarth and Lift Bridge beer and a tisane.

          I also noticed that Dakota County Parks and Rec has a September seminar/mushroom hunt/dinner/cooking class called: Hunting the Wild Mushroom. More info here:
          http://www.co.dakota.mn.us/LeisureRec...

          1. Well, it might be a little out of your proposed radius from Minneapolis, but about 4 hours away here in southwestern WI, there is an annual Morel Festival in Muscoda, the "Morel capitol of Wisconsin." May 16-17 this year.

            http://www.muscoda.com/event_morels_0...