Southern Illinois Morel Mushrooms
Morel Mushroom | Jason Ross

Morel Mushroom Hunting on Earth Day

Earth Day is a chance to celebrate the beauty that natures provides to the world. The editors of the Crescent Vale Network hit the forest floor of the Shawnee Forest on the Wild Turkey Trail. Jason Ross has been researching and hunting mushrooms for the past five years. He is a trained professional at selecting and preparing the mushrooms, and incorporating them into his diet.

After twenty minutes of searching the grounds, we both started to locate morel mushrooms in small packs. Their honeycomb tops are an easy way to pick spot them against the brown leaves. April is a good month to go hunting for morels. It is also wise to go with someone that has experience in the field.

To pick it you pinch the stem, so that you leave a portion of the mushroom in the ground. One would break the mushroom at the stem and place it in mesh bag. When the mushrooms are handled in a mesh bag it helps spread the spores from the morel mushrooms.

Ross helped show which mushrooms were safe to consume later. He pointed out that the mushrooms go bad if not kept cold after picking them from the ground. He cleaned the mushrooms, and sautéed them to perfection.

Morel Mushroom Hunt with ‘Kentucky Mandolin’ performed by the Yonder Mountain String Band