Category Archives: Featured

Morel FAQ

How should I harvest Fire morels?
Mushroom image
Many believe you should pinch the morel right at ground level. Of course one could use a knife or a chain saw depending on how big, but a simple pinch and twist will usually do. There are several reasons for this. One it helps keep dirt that is on the root from making a mess of the rest of the morels in your bag. The other reason which again is another theory, but it is believed that by leaving the root you are assuring that the patch will reproduce next season.

Can I find mushrooms at the same place next year?

Yes. If the conditions are favorable, the fungus living in the soil will create new fruits in the next autumn. Mycels (fungus networks) can live for a very long time and achieve enormous expansions, but only under ideal conditions they form their fruits. Therefore it can happen that you can’t find any mushroom in one year, but there can be lots of them a year later at the same place.

Where Can I find Morel Mushrooms?

Begin your journey in last years forest fire area. Look for the morel peeking up through leaves or other forest debris near the base of dead trees or near streams or rivers. Frequently, just the tip of the morel will be visible so careful searching is important.

How come I can’t find any Morel Mushrooms?

This is a tough question for any morel hunter to answer and who hasn’t or doesn’t ask this question? Yes, even the most experienced hunter wonders this at times. There are lots of variables; your region, your season, the weather, timing, and maybe the most mysterious is the spore that produces the morel.  Not every area you venture into will have that patch waiting for you so keep searching. Often times hunters will continually search an area that has produced in the past and for reasons sometimes unknown, they will come up empty. As stated before, this too is the mystery of the morel.

Pinterest how so?

I have been hearing alot about Pinterest lately and decided to find out what it was all about.

Pinterest is a “social site”, it binds users together through photos.

There is a board just for Morel Mushrooms

Pinterest offers a unique opportunity to get your message out there through the use of images.

You can:

  • “pin” up things o n a visual cork board
  • pin both images and videos
  • add a link to an image that either opens up to the image or that links to any site you’d like

Pinterest is a very open website and people are always searching for images and topics of interest,
On Tuesday February 28,2012 Andrea Kalli, of Virtual Assist will be here to give a guest blog on how to use Pinterest. Make sure you mark your calendar and turn up for this informative Pinterest blog post




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Fire Morels

fruiting morelsMorels can be found in a wide range of different habitats including coniferous and mixed woods. Morels also prefer areas in hollows or around tree stumps where the soil is moist.

They grow abundantly in the first year after a forest fire if conditions are suitable. The time of year of the burn and the amount of rainfall after a fire are critical factors in determining morel production in these areas.

Morels From the forests to a multi-million dollar business

He started out by picking wild mushrooms in the forests of the Okanagan then he began selling his mushrooms directly to restaurants.

Now Gord Weighill’s Kelowna-based company has expanded into a multi-million dollar business.

Mikuni Wild Harvest sells organic produce and specialty food products annually to hundreds of the top restaurants across North America.

The company has benefited from increasing consumer demand for organic food across the continent.

More than 1,500 restaurants across Canada and the U.S. buy produce from Mikuni.

Referring to mushrooms he bought from the company, Chef Jesse Croy of Sunset Bistro at Summerhill Winery says the mushrooms are as organic as possible and contain no chemicals.

The company’s headquarters are located in a Kelowna basement, but they have offices and warehouses in major cities like New York, Lax Vegas and Seattle.

Morels and Forest Fires

The fires that affected our National Forest’s in Central and northern British Columbia left a legacy that has been repeated thousands of times in BC’s natural history. The burned areas provide ideal conditions for the growth of morel mushrooms, a fungus that is collected around the world and highly revered for its delicious flavor.

Morels grow abundantly in the first year after a forest fire if conditions are suitable. The time of year of the burn and the amount of rainfall after a fire are critical factors in determining morel production in these areas.

This web site gives the data for the forest fires around BC in 2011.

Chanterelle Mushrooms

Chanterelle Mushrooms (Use knife to cut stalks)

These mushrooms have a bright yellow to orange cap with a wavy margin. The cap becomes depressed in the middle and looks funnel shaped as the mushroom matures. The stem has the same colour as the cap. Shallow gills or ridges extend from the cap part way down the stem. These mushrooms have an apricot fragrance and a peppery after taste when eaten raw.

Chanterelles are found in jackpine stands that have a groundcover of reindeer lichen. Excessive tramping in the forest when conditions are dry will damage the lichen which is essential for the growth of these mushrooms. Therefore, avoid searching for wild mushrooms when the groundcover is dry.

Chanterelles begin to appear around mid-July and continue producing if conditions are favourable until freeze-up. These mushrooms rarely have worms in them compared to some of the other species.

Chanterelles can sometimes be confused with Jack O’Lantern (Omphalotus olearius) which have a bright yellow colour, grow in large clusters around stumps and give off a greenish glow when placed in the dark. Jack O’Lantern are poisonous and should not be touched.