Q:

What should you know about harvesting your own mushrooms in Illinois?

A:

Quick Answer

Before harvesting mushrooms in Illinois, determine which type of mushroom is being harvested, and the conditions in which it grows. Be aware of the appearance and differences between edible mushrooms and toxic mushrooms.

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What should you know about harvesting your own mushrooms in Illinois?
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Full Answer

Before beginning a mushroom harvest, ensure that the search area is wilderness and not privately owned property. Some professional mushroom harvesters in Illinois own plots of land where mushrooms grow.

Study a field guide or talk to a mycologist to find out how to identify different types of mushrooms. While many types edible mushrooms are native to Illinois, a number of species in the area are highly toxic and potentially lethal if consumed. It may be worthwhile to consider joining a mushroom club. Links to several Illinois mushroom hunting clubs are available on IllinoisMushrooms.com.

The mushroom hunter should be prepared with the correct equipment before harvesting mushrooms. Wear weather-appropriate clothing: For example, be sure to wear warm clothing or rain gear when harvesting fall mushrooms. When harvesting summer mushrooms, a sun hat and bug repellent are recommended. Wear durable walking shoes when harvesting mushrooms, regardless of the season. Carrying the harvested mushrooms in a mesh or netted bag allows excess dirt, debris and insects to fall to the ground.

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