How do I start Mushroom Foraging?

Mushroom foraging can be a great way to connect with your food, giving you a strong knowing of where your food comes from all while enjoying the amazing health benefits of wild mushrooms. Although very rewarding, it can be deadly and hard to get into.

“I think that the biggest mistake that beginner foragers make is to think that it is easy to find lots of mushrooms. Sometimes you find a great patch and other times you do not get anything.”

Seadon Shouse

If you have decided that mushroom foraging is something that you want to learn to do it will be a long learning process. Here are some tips for how to get started:

  • Take pictures. Take pictures of mushrooms that you can’t identify so that you can ask other people if they know what they are. Whenever you see a mushroom growing, take a picture and get an idea of what kinds are around you.

  • Forage after a heavy rain. Mushrooms grow like crazy after a heavy rain, especially if there was a dry spell beforehand. This will up your chances of finding different species.

  • Buy guides that are specific to your area. There are so many mushrooming field guides available and the more specific the guide is to your area, the more helpful it will be to you. If you are in the Willamette Valley in Oregon, the best guide for beginners is:
  • Cross reference across multiple sources. Photos and descriptions vary across different guides so make sure that you always cross reference your identification.

  • Be 100% certain of what you’re picking. Never pick a mushroom if you don’t know what it is.

  • Join a local mushroom club. The best way to learn how to forage is to go out with an experienced forager. Join your local mushroom club and sign up for a foray.

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