- Associated Press - Monday, April 20, 2015

CHILLICOTHE, Ohio (AP) - As trees and flowers begin blossoming, some people have their eyes to the ground as the morel mushroom season ramps up in the state.

The arrival of spring marks the beginning of the limited season for the cone-shaped mushrooms, said Walter Sturgeon, a board member for the Ohio Mushroom Society, told the Chillicothe Gazette (https://ohne.ws/1zBb868).

Sturgeon, who has been hunting morels for 55 years, said the group hopes to educate people and enjoy focusing on wild mushrooms. Morels can be consumed when cooked and are unique in taste, he said.

“The reward, as far as a meal, is kind of good,” Sturgeon said. “They’re indescribable as far as the taste. There’s nothing that tastes like them.”

Jimmy Pendleton, owner of Chillicothe’s Shawnee Valley Campground, said forests with elm and ash trees are good spots to find morel mushrooms, which he calls “an Appalachian delicacy.” Pendleton’s campground will host a mushroom festival this month.

He hopes the upcoming Morel Mushroom Festival will bring more exposure to the area while giving participants the chance to win $1,000 in prize money based on the pounds of morel mushrooms they collect that can be obtained anywhere within the state over a four-day period.

Mushroom society officials say they expect a good season for the mushrooms, which are often used for cooking or making natural clothing dyes.

There are around 3,000 wild mushrooms in Ohio, Sturgeon estimates.


Information from: Chillicothe Gazette, https://www.chillicothegazette.com

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