... where dandelions are on the menu.


yummy Chanterelles
Chanterelles I harvested from the back acreage of our property.

be safe, be smart!

Foraging for mushrooms is so much fun. 🙂 However, as with anything, do be safe and smart about your choices. There is a bit of a learning curve and it’s important to rely on the wisdom of those who are more experienced. I’m still something of a newbie, so I’m going slow and learning to identify one or two new kinds each year adding to my repertoire of mushroom identifying skills.

1. don’t forage alone

Foraging for mushrooms generally takes you out and about. It’s easy to get lost when you’re wandering around looking down around your shoes or up into the trees. Buddy up and take a friend. Take your phone with a GPS app. (Some folks pack a whistle.)

2. be legal, play nice

It’s impolite to hop a fence and start looking for mushrooms. Find out who owns the land and ask permission. Research local and state laws as well. Most states allow foraging for personal use but may have limits on amounts you can gather. Tread lightly and don’t leave any trash about. You may also want to consider whether an area might be polluted or treated in any way. Avoid these.

3. take drinking water and appropriate gear

Sip on a water bottle as you go (maybe pack a couple of snacks). Wear a hat and good hiking shoes.

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Mushroom Hunting KnivesMushroom Foraging Bag

Mushrooms need to be harvested with a knife and tucked in a breathable bag or basket. It’s a good idea to take along a field guide as well. If you pick up something you’re not quite sure of, tuck it in a paper bag separate from your other mushrooms until you can identify it (don’t want to cross-contaminate).

4. be kind and leave a bit behind

It’s tempting to take everything you find, I know. However, you can only eat so many mushrooms and it’s kind to leave a little for others and leave something for nature to use to make more mushrooms. Take a few nice mature mushrooms and leave the rest.

Mushrooming Without FearThe Complete Mushroom Hunter

5. don’t eat anything you are not 100% sure of

There are a bazillion different kinds of mushrooms and there is a learning curve to finding the edible kind. Read good books. Join a mushroom identification group on or offline. Hang with experienced foragers. Learn. Learn. Learn. And don’t eat anything you are not 100% sure of. (Mushrooming Without Fear is one of the best books for newbies.)

Pinterest image for Mushroom Foraging article

Image credits
chanterelles © Lori / Dandelion Hill Homestead
Pinterest image / oyster mushrooms on tree © Volodymyr Tokar / Unsplash

Additional Pinterest image credits
boletus mushroom © adege / Pixabay
mushrooms in forest © mikezwei / Pixabay
mushrooms in a basket © Jens Hellermann / Pixabay

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