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Foraging for Fall Mushrooms in Detroit

September 23, 2016

Chicken of the Woods mushroom this one found Sept 2016 on Belle Isle


Lion’s Mane. This is perhaps the most exciting mushroom I’ve found in the city, mostly because it was the first time I found one anywhere. I found it growing in the crotch of a Norway maple planted on the city strip in front of a vacant house last October. I needed to use the ladder from my work vehicle to climb the tree to get it. I’m hoping it fruits again this fall.



Around Michigan the only wild mushroom that “normal” people collect are the Morels in the Spring. Even then there is a bit of fear mongering about “false morels” (we have eaten the verpa sp. quite a few times with no ill effects, but hey this post is about fall mushrooms). While I love being out in the spring woods looking for dead elms, old apple orchards in bloom and  cottonwood groves in search of those funny little black, gray, and yellow mushrooms, I find fall mushrooming far more productive and exciting. We currently live in Detroit, and I don’t have a ton of time to get deep into the woods. A lot of my foraging happens while I’m driving around the city for work, riding home on my bike, or in parks near my home. Fall mushroom season is upon us, so I just wanted to do a little post about some of the great fall mushrooms that we’ve found around the city. Enjoy.



First Hen of the Woods/Maitake of the season. Found on a evening walk in the neighborhood 9/21/16



Reshi mushroom found growing underneath the plum trees in our garden in a hugelkultur berm. This was early sept 2016, but there’s another one fruiting as we speak.



Found these honey mushrooms the same day as the Maitake. This is a parasitic fungi that are und growing on oaks. For some reason I never harvest or eat these, but maybe this year I will give them a shot. When your cooking up ten pounds or chicken of the woods or hen of the woods, these seem kind of trivial.


We have  lot of fun looking for mushrooms around the city in the Fall, and it’s already been a pretty good season so far. We will probably put between 20-50 pounds combined of Chicken of the Woods and Maitake into the freezer. They are such great edible mushrooms, often found in large quantities. If you’ve never collected wild mushrooms or limited yourself to just morels we highly encourage you to get out there and see what you can find. Both Chicken of the Woods and Maitake are found growing at the base of oak trees. Your local city park, state park, or old cemetery are great places to start. Have fun and be safe!



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