An assortment of fall mushrooms.
GODFREY — Many questions surround the tricks of wild mushroom hunting. For example, which wild mushrooms are edible and harmless, or what recipes will bring out the best flavor? The Nature Institute will answer those questions from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 10.
Foraging for Fungi will take place at TNI’s Talahi Lodge, 2213 S. Levis Lane. Education director Patti Brown, education assistant Ramona Puskar and TNI board member Dr. Patrick Dailey will begin this program with an informational presentation. Then the group will head out for a light hike on TNI trails to identify wild mushrooms.
“One of the biggest misconceptions about mushroom hunting is that you can only eat morels, which come up in the spring,” Puskar said. “There are so many other species of mushrooms that are edible and available, especially in the fall.”
Once the hike is finished, the group will head back to the lodge, where the guides will share their favorite recipes for cooking up the best meals with a mushroom fry.
Puskar is eager to test the seasonal recipes with the event guests.
“We plan on making a butternut squash soup with black trumpets, a chanterelle pizza and ‘chicken’ enchiladas,” she said.
Admission is $25 per person, which includes the identification hike and mushroom fry. There are only 30 spots available for this event and pre-registration is required. Those interested in participating should reserve their spot before Oct. 3 by calling (618) 466-9930 or emailing info@TheNatureInstitute.org.
The institute is a nonprofit environmental education and conservation organization. Its mission is to foster an awareness and appreciation of the natural world through preservation, restoration and education.
The institute has several hiking trails throughout its preserves ranging in difficulty from easy to moderate. The trails are free and open for public use from dawn to dusk. TNI owns 450 acres of land protected under permanent conservation easements and the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission. Because of this protection, collecting mushrooms, flowers or anything else on the property is prohibited.
For information, visit www.thenatureinstitute.org or call (618) 466-9930.