FORAGING– Mushroom foraging conditions have been near perfect with the recent rainfall followed by cooler temperatures and sunny days, according to the Seattle Times
"Shroomers are flocking to forests in search of Japanese matsutake (Armillaria ponderosa), known for their unique smell and excellent table fare," says reporer Mark Yuasa. Other popular varieties among edible mushrooms are boletes and chanterelles.
The peak of this autumn’s foraging season appears to be a few weeks behind, but those who’ve ventured out recently are starting to see more mushrooms popping up.
Read on for more of Yuasa's report and a rule to note about harvesting matsutake.
Look for matsutake around areas dense with Douglas firs, Ponderosa pine, white and red firs, and mountain and western hemlocks. Also target areas with huckleberry and rhododendrons, which create shaded spots, and forest duff like fern and moss leaves and dense soil that retains rainwater.
The matsutake is the most sought-after species, but are the hardest mushrooms to find. They’re often covered by duff, and as they grow they push up the soil, creating raised areas or bumps. These bumps will need to be looked at by lifting the cover.
There are rules to follow when gathering matsutake. Always cut the matsutake leaving a small portion of the base in the ground.
Once removed, cover up the area to protect exposed mycelium.
Read more about safely harvesting these prizes.