A mushroom buyer in Saskatchewan says morels in the north were a bumper crop, while chanterelles are coming along nicely.
Randy Johns, CEO of the Keewatin Career Development Corporation in Air Ronge says buyers were unprepared for the amount of morel mushrooms which could have been harvested in the Pelican Narrows area.
“When we and other buyers indicated the demand, then pickers were anxious to pick. It wasn’t the pickers that were the problem, it was the buyers,” said Johns. “The economic benefit that went to the community was likely $25,000 to $50,000. But, it could have been more if we were prepared for it and could have harvested the potential of the mushrooms that were there.”
Morel mushrooms typically grow in boreal forests and are particularly abundant in areas the year following a forest fire. Johns says his company has ordered 1000 pounds of morels.
He says the 2019 morel season is taking shape, as there has been extensive wildfire activity near Waterhen Lake and Southend.
As for Chanterelles, Johns says the quality of that crop located south of La Ronge, is looking good. Yet he says while the season got off to a strong start, the recent warm and dry weather is causing the season to slow.
“It’s pretty warm right now so that could stop things, if it stays dry and no rain. But if we get some rain, then the season could keep going. If we get rain continuously it could keep going for another few weeks to a month I think,” Johns explained.
Johns says with the strength of the chanterelles this season, some local restauranteurs in the La Ronge area have purchased them for culinary use.
(PHOTO: Wild Morel mushroom. Courtesy of MLive.com)