On the Hunt for Mushrooms in Season: Winter in NorCal
by Prime Roots January 06, 20203 min read
If you're a mushroom lover like we are, you'll surely be foraging for these tasty treats in your local picturesque NorCal forest!
Winter has come to sunny California.
The first rain and the wet season brings beautiful colors and blooms of different mushrooms and fungi into the natural landscape around us. Look for mushrooms out and about in your neighborhood in the grass and woody areas.
The best time to go out and find mushrooms is after the first fall rain and into the winter season.
During this time there is moisture in the soil which enables the fruiting bodies that we commonly refer to as “mushrooms” to appear. The fruiting body of the fungi can then spread more spores (basically plant seeds) so that more mushrooms can grow in the future.
Tips for first-time foragers
Many mushrooms look similar but they are very different and can be toxic, many places do not allow collecting mushrooms. So before you head out into the woods consider these tips:
Go with with people that understand how to properly identify different mushrooms.
Forage with folks who know the area.
Know the rules and regulations of the region before heading out.
Educate yourself on the different types of mushrooms, what they look like, and which ones are poisonous or not.
When going hunting for mushrooms, be sure to look on the ground as well as on trees (upright and fallen). Mushrooms are decomposers so they grow on a wide range of substrates with different species having their own preferences.
Places to go, mushrooms to find
If you want to take an adventure and start foraging for mushrooms, there are many great places to visit near the Bay Area. All you have to do is take a stroll and you’re bound to find some beautiful mushrooms fruiting. Take a foraging trip and connect to your roots!
Places to go forage near or in the Bay Area:
Point Reyes Seashore(~1-hour drive) - A natural sanctuary for humans, animals, and mushrooms, find peace in the crashing ocean waves as you forage for your favorite superfood.
Tilden Regional Park (East Bay) - This one's not too far from our Prime Roots home in Berkley! But you'll feel like your light years away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Mendocino Forest (~2.5 hours drive) - The only national forest in California that doesn't have a major paved road entering it!
Salt Point State Park (~2 hours drive) - With over 20 miles of hiking trails, you are sure to find your favorite mushroom foraging area here.
Some delicious mushrooms that can be found in the region:
Candy Cane Mushroom: Great in baked goods with an intense maple flavor.
Morels: Found in many wooded areas throughout North America.
Porcini: AKA Penny Bun mushrooms that have an earthy, meaty flavor.
Lions Mane: Generally grows in a big clump and notorious for its long spines.
Oyster Mushrooms: A common edible mushroom often found growing on trees.
Chanterelles: A bright yellow mushroom that has a magical appeal to many foragers.
We hope you enjoy your mushroom hunt this season!
Be sure to share with us where you have gone foraging and what you found — #fungination @Primeroots!
Wanna be invited to our next mushroom foraging event? Learn what makes our Chief Foodie, Kim tick besides nourishing people and planet! Join our plant-loving foodie of communities and you'll get access to monthly freebies and giveaways and be invited to our exclusive events!