May is morel month in Michigan, and if you’ve never tried your hand at morel hunting, you may be surprised at what a perfectly cannabis-friendly pursuit morel mushroom hunting can be! While events in northern Michigan like the annual Mesick Morel Mushroom Festival (May 6-8) & Boyne City’s National Morel Mushroom Festival (May 12-15) get a lot of press, morels are not confined to the northern part of the state with some of our best picking in southern Michigan.
- Make your first several mushroom hunts, whether for morels or other edible mushroom species, with someone who knows mushrooms.
- Buy or download a mushroom guide. A good guidebook is “The Mushroom Hunter’s Field Guide” by Alexander H. Smith, recognized as America’s foremost authority on mushroom identification, and Nancy Smith Weber. There also is a very good mushroom identification booklet available on the U.S. Department of Agriculture website.
- Be prepared to cover a lot of ground and to experience disappointments when searching for morels. Some spots yield mushrooms year after year, while others skip several seasons between crops.
- Don’t expect to find morels easily if you are new to the pastime. Because they blend into their background of last fall’s leaves and dead grass, they are hard to see even if you are looking right at them. Your “eye” for morels will sharpen with practice, and you will need to retrain it every spring.
- Most important of all – know what you are eating! You will need to know the difference between a “true” morel and the “false morels,” such as beefsteak mushrooms, which are poisonous. (See morel identification information.)
- For more information on morel mushroom hunting in Michigan, visit Pure Michigan or Midwest American Mycological Information.