Could Farmers Soon Start Growing Morel Mushrooms?
I haven't had a morel mushroom in years but when I see pictures of them, my mouth waters. Finding them is an art and those that have it guard their harvest locations like a national security secret. I don't blame them. But could morel mushrooms actually be something that farmers raise? It sounds like a distinct possibility. Pardon me while I wipe the drool from my chin.
Growing morel mushrooms isn't easy because most varieties don't self-fertilize. However, Chris Wright, a man from Michigan who's known as a mushroom researcher, grew his own morel mushrooms outside this spring! He's working with a type of black morel that originated in China that self-fertilizes. Wright also put bags filled with nutrients to where he grew the mushrooms. It's the first time anyone has tried this method to grow morels in the U.S.
Wright hopes with more testing and continued research, that farmers in Michigan could be growing them and making them available to consumers in 2021. He told the Lansing State Journal, "This is the first reasonably reliable method for growing morels. I think we’ll have stuff reliable enough for folks to be able to grow a profitable crop."
I'm betting some Iowa farmers who are reading this are already thinking about how they can grow morels too. My skillet and palate will be waiting.