It was a bumper crop for chanterelle mushrooms in northern Saskatchewan. The fungi was so abundant that one buyer in the La Ronge area reached their quota early.
“The season started very early, and then they came on profusely. I think the season is still on,” said Randy Johns CEO of the Keewatin Community Development Association. “We hit our quota right after the August long weekend.”
Johns said the quota this year was 750 pounds fresh.
He attributes the moist conditions for copious amount of chanterelle’s.
Yet it is a vastly different season for morels, as there were not significant forest fires last year.
“Morels are a finicky because we only find them in volume in areas, which have recently been burnt. And it has to be the right kind of fire,” Johns said. “We don’t know year-to-year if there’s going to be much of a crop for morels.” J
ohns explained that chanterelle’s are more predictable as they grow in the same areas.
The Keewatin Community Development Association recently got $1 million in federal funding to enhance the forest products industry.
That includes plants, fungi and other products which can be harvested such as teas and nutritional supplements.
Johns says mushrooms only account for approximately 10-15 percent of their overall business.
That federal funding is expected to create 50 local jobs.
(PHOTO: Chanterelle mushrooms. Credit: The Lost Bus Facebook.)