The forest floor is a banquet of plenty for those who know where to look. When it comes to wild foraging, you just can’t go wrong with the chanterelle mushroom. Gold-colored, meaty and found in great numbers, chanterelles can be hunted in moss-covered coniferous forests. They are high in vitamin C, vitamin D, and potassium. Chanterelles are found all year long, with a peak season that occurs in the fall. On the West Coast, they are typically located in shaded drainage areas where there is a great deal of moss and leaf litter.
While chanterelles can be hard to spot at first, mixed in with the yellow and orange leaves of autumn, they grow in clusters. This makes it a real party once you key in on a nice little patch. Make sure to harvest your mushrooms by cutting the tops, thereby leaving the stems to continue growing. If you pull a chanterelle from the ground whole, stem and all, you risk missing out on a sustainable harvest later in the season. In heavy rain, a single patch of chanterelles can be harvested more than once during the fall. Be careful not to disturb the mycelium you will find all around the chanterelle patch, the mushrooms need this to grow and messing with it will damage the patch permanently.
Click below to learn how to properly identify and harvest chanterelles. Our video covers everything from proper harvesting technique, to stewardship of the patch and proper verification.