The March meeting of the Adams County Wild Mushroom Club was well attended with 16 people that included four new members and one guest.
Due to some warm and wet days in February, members reported finding several different mushrooms, including some that are edible such as oyster (Pleurotus ssp.), wood ears (Auricularia americana) and puffballs, although none were eaten because they are out of season. Other mushrooms found were shelf, cup and bird’s nests mushrooms that are mostly not edible.
Since temperatures are expected to turn colder with below freezing temps at night, we had a discussion on whether the cold temps could kill the mushroom spores that have already emerged.
We also discussed when and where morels were usually found. Some members have reported successful findings under old apple trees, but only for about three years. Others have found them under elm or poplar trees. Since a lot depends on weather conditions, there seemed to be a 30-day time fame between the end of March and the end of April when they have been harvested. With that in mind, our first hike has been scheduled for the end of March, depending on the weather. Another hike has been scheduled for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 7 to look for mushrooms. If you would like to attend, meet at Shawnee State Park Lodge, wear hiking boots, and bring a lunch and water. A walking stick may also be helpful, as the last mile may be strenuous for some. There will be snacks at the end of the hike. No experience is necessary, and there will be a naturalist and mushroom expert on the hike to help us identify any mushrooms we find. Also, there are weekly Saturday hikes at 1 p.m. at the park. You can always look for mushrooms on any hike. These hikes are free and open to the public. Check the park website for more information.
The next meeting is scheduled for 1 p.m. April 3 at Frisch’s in West Union. Come early if you want to eat. New members are always welcome. This is a good opportunity to help ID mushrooms and share info. You are encouraged to bring any photos of recently found mushrooms. For more information call 937-544-7104 or email Brenda.firstname.lastname@example.org.