Mushroom club meeting – Sat. Oct. 15, 2-5 PM

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Join Central Oregon Mushroom Club and get timely notices of meetings, mushroom finds and forays from their yahoo  group postings!  Contact Julie Hamiliton at

From Julie Hamilton of the Central Oregon Mushroom Club:


Mushroom Club meeting coming up on October 15th. Meeting is from 2:00 to 5:00 in the Brooks Room at the downtown library.  Professor of mycology Dr. Jeffery Stone from OSU in Corvallis is coming to speak on basic mycology, local species habitat and ecology and much more.  Please bring a finger food item to share and as always any interesting mushrooms you’ve found out in the woods lately. Good or bad we want to see it.  Hoping for a fantastic turnout.  It’s high time we got to know each other better.  Did I mention food?


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Blue Chanterelles near Santiam junction

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Posted via email from Clair K.

“This is a response to your “Rain Dance” post on the COM site (re: “How are the rest of you doing in finding edibles or anything, for that matter?”). I wasn’t sure how to post photos, so I’m sending you an email instead.

I’ve only found a handful of chanterelles (white) in three days of hunting last week, in the Santiam and McKenzie areas. You’re right, we need some rain! Generally seeing very few mushrooms of any kind.

I did however find a nice clump of blue chanterelle (see photos attached) near Santiam Jct. last Monday. At first glance I thought they were dark pig’s ears (because of the brownish/grey cap) however the internal flesh was dark purple/grey, and spore print white, cinching them as Polyozellus multiplex. We tried them in a frittata, a Thai soup, and cream of mushroom soup (this was a large clump) and found them delicious.

It may be meager picking this fall unless we get some decent rain soon. I was fortunate to put up a substantial supply of dried spring kings and frozen morels which are tiding us over. Also have a few bags of frozen matsutake left over from last year.

I was hoping to take your class this fall, but we ended up in Germany, Italy, and France for most of Sept. (my son is stationed at Ramstein AFB in Germany). Interestingly, we had a fantastic dinner in a Rothenburg restaurant: fresh “pfifferling” (chanterelles) with venison. These were absolutely beautiful chanterelles, perfectly cooked, large portions, and delicious. We went back to the same restaurant the next day for a repeat!”

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Rain dance needed for the forest!


Please put your best rain gear on and do an intense rain dance.  I was out in the woods for hours on Thursday in the Sisters ranger district and found 3 total mushrooms, of any kind.  No,  I wasn’t in the wet boggy spots this time, but something should be up just the same, but it is crispy dry up there away from springs. This has gotta change!

If you Google “rain dance”  you get to see these drawings of the zuni tribesmen’s rain dance costumes!  Too cool!  Where can I get these?

How are the rest of you doing in finding edibles or anything, for that matter?

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Chanterelles are happening!


My fingers smell of wonderfully apricoty mushroom scent – the Yellow Chanterelle.  It has been too long since I tasted this delectable fungal fruit.  Ron and I went out on Sunday heading west over  Santiam Pass and found the low marshy spots where we have had luck before.  This old hot spot had small,  and a little dried out mushrooms and a few nice ones, but what really helped were the huckleberry bushes nearby where we hadn’t explored.  Underneath some of the bushes, loaded with berries, were large and meaty fresh yellow Chanterelles.  What to pick first?!  Feeling very supported and nourished in that beautiful place.

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Matsutakes and their pickers are so very interesting!

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Many thanks to Christina Veverka, USFS botanist, and Tami Kerr, USFS past Special Forest Products lead, for your presentation about the current research on Matsutakes in the Deschutes Nat. Forest.  What I remember most about the talk is

  • A shiro is the mass of mycelium under the duff, usually forming an  arc or fan for Matsutakes.
  • Matsies like 30-80 year old lodgepole pine tree habitat best
  • The USFS has an extensive  10 year study now in progress and  uses sniffing soil samples to test for the presence of matsie mycelium (brown nosers.)
  • Our soil and habitat is very similar to Japan’s so the flavor of our particular matsie is most desirable.
  • Average price for commercial pickers across the season is $15/ pound though it varies greatly even during the same day, with a $20 price being the best return for pickers.
  • When the price gets $40/pound or more, pickers ignore rules and begin to rake the shiro for grade #1, ruining future fruitings.
  • At the peak in the 1990s, Matsie prices reached $500-$700/pound!
  • Allotropa  virgata – Candy Stick, is acutally a parasite on matsutake mycelium.  If you find Candy Stick in the woods,  matsutake mycelium is present.
  • Temperature changes are much more important than moisture for matsies to fruit.  The soil must be below 50 degrees for about three days to begin. They come up first in cold frosty pockets in the forest.
  • It costs $40 for a 5 day non-commercial matsie picking permit and the 5 days must be decided at the time you purchase the permit.
  • All commercial harvesters must camp in a commercial camp in the National Forest.
  • The culture of the commercial picking camps is fascinating and full of exotic smells, sounds, and tastes unknown to most Central Oregonians.

Thank both of you for your time and effort. I was especially glad to hear how professional and thorough the research seems to be when deciding how the USFS should thin stands of timber.

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The Central Oregon Mushroom Club, has set up an interesting meeting for September. Please attend this talk is you are at inclined to learn about the white pine mushroom, Matsutake, or Tricholoma magnivelare. This information could save someone’s life because this mushroom has been confused with the poisonous Amanita smithiana, which also grows in our area.

Date: Saturday 09-10-11

Time: 2pm
Venue: Brooks Room, Bend downtown library

* Mushroom harvesting on your national forest, rules & regulations
* Matsutake Ecology/ biology
* Matsutake as a commercial product
* Proper harvesting techniques
* Ongoing Matsutake research

Speakers: Tami Kerr and Christina Veverka.
About Tami Kerr: until recently, Tami was the lead for the Special Forest Products Program at the Crescent Ranger District, where she was the coordinator for the commercial matsutake program. She is currently the Natural Resources & Vegetation Program Analyst at the Deschutes & Ochoco National Forest.
About Christina Veverka: Christina is our District Botanist here at the Deschutes National Forest. She has been involved with the on-going Matsutake research.

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How to find morels and other edibles at the next COMC meeting, 6-16


In case you haven’t heard, COMC is having a  mushroom meeting this Thursday, June 16, at 7 pm at Combined Communications, 63088 NE 18, upstairs, in Bend off Empire St.

The highlight of the evening will be “Jim,” a commercial picker for 30 years who knows how to find amazing quantities of edibles. His field-tested techniques will greatly improve your chances for a successful hunt and help you make the best decisions on habitat, so less time gets wasted in the woods. (Not that time in the woods is ever “wasted.”)

As a member of Central Oregon Mushroom Club, you get to attend these talks for free.  Non-members pay $10 per talk.  Membership to the club costs $20 per person or $30 per family for a year.  The club will provide speakers on mushroom topics, mushroom identification, organized field trips, mycological learning opportunities, etc, and has a yahoo group site that makes it easy to post pictures, ask questions, and share mushroom adventures. The club has already had a couple of field trips and everyone went home happy with morels.  Another programmed mushroom talk will be on Matsutake, presented by botanists from the USFS who are intensively studying them. Please consider joining so that you don’t miss these opportunities.

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Agaricus albolutescens is delicious!


Photo from Michael Wood's site unitl I can take one this nice.

When hunting morels in the spring, we often find a very delectable Agaricus that fruits at the start of the morel season.  The variation of Agaricus albolutescens that grows in these parts has a relatively short stalk with a cap that just barely clears the duff when it matures. Fortunately, the bright white cap with amber-yellow stains is distinctive against the dark ground.  This delectable mushroom is worth learning because many people do not pick it for fear of confusing it with the spring Amanita, Amanita aprica, which also has a yellow cap, but with white veil patches attached to a yellow background.  True, they both have free gills, but Agaricus albolutescens’ gills are pinkish gray changing to chocolate brown in maturity. Amanita aprica’s gills are always white.  Study the pictures in the book and you will have little trouble telling them apart in the field.

Some people have trouble eating Agaricus (just like morels) so only try a bit when you first sample them.  The nauseating Agaricus from David Arora’s “Lose Your Lunch Bunch” have strong phenol odors (library paste, chemical smell), especially when cooked. Since you never eat mushrooms raw, this odor will become obvious during preparation.

Another great feature of this mushroom is that the bugs don’t seem to bother it for quite a while, allowing  the gills to mature to a chocolate brown and a rich mushroomy flavor. We found enough last spring to slice and dry, recently using them in an amazing soup.

Be sure of identification, of course, but Agaricus is one genus that pays you back with great eating if you take the time to study it.

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Great day on Green Ridge

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Okay, it’s not like we found a ton, but enough for our first real hunt of the season. We started near the burn, after driving up and down and around to find a spot outside private property. Once out of the car, I quickly found a couple large morels (5-6 “)  that were so dirty, I didn’t want to handle them. Took them anyway and found it interesting that they came up under burned Ponderosa Pine.  Ron wanted to hunt anywhere but in the dirty new burn,  so we left for Green Ridge.  It took a bit, but we found about 3 lbs. of beautiful young morels and one just-opened Agaricus.  Somewhere between 4000-4200 feet. No rain. Cool with some wind in the open areas, but great to be in the woods! The season is young, but happening!

Anyone else?

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