Tips for foraging mushrooms in Kitsap

For local foragers, it’s a great time of year to harvest mushrooms.

“This is a great part of the world to be a beginner looking for mushrooms,” John Young, president of the Kitsap Peninsula Mycological Society, said. “There’s a high chance of success for beginners to find edible mushrooms in the local area.”

However, due to some mushrooms being poisonous, people new to foraging should join a group that will help them identify edible mushrooms. Young said anyone interested in learning how to identify mushrooms as a beginner should join KPMS.

“I don’t want people to think it’s incredibly hard, but I do want people to think there’s right ways and wrong ways to go about it, and one of the best ways is to start out with a group,” Young said.

One of the beginner mushrooms, Young said, is the chanterelle. Often golden in color and frequently trumpet-shaped, the chanterelle has few lookalikes that could prove deadly or cause lasting damage.

“A beginner can be pretty confident that if they know the criteria for a chanterelle, they’re going to see a chanterelle,” Young said. “Some of the other mushrooms — say, if there’s four or five things that you’re looking for to identify it, and if you get one of those slightly wrong — it could be a poisonous mushroom. Chanterelles are safe in that respect.”

The Kitsap Peninsula Mycological Society will be holding its annual Wild Mushroom Show on Sunday, Oct. 28 from 1 to 5 p.m. in Olympic College’s Bremer Student Center. The event will provide an opportunity for local gatherers, experts and amateurs to taste, learn and ask questions about identifying local species of edible mushrooms and how to gather them safely.

— Nick Twietmeyer is a reporter with Kitsap News Group. Nick can be reached at ntwietmeyer@soundpublishing.com.

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