Wild-harvested Mushroom Certification Classes Set for Spring

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Mushroom gatherers who wish to sell wild-harvested mushrooms can attend one of two certification workshops to be held in March and April.

The certification is a requirement for those selling any of eight state-regulated mushrooms in Iowa, and participants will learn how to distinguish those eight from look-alikes that could potentially be poisonous.

Anyone with an interest in mushrooms and selling mushrooms can attend the workshop, according Chelsea Harbach, plant disease diagnostician with Iowa State University’s Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic.

Yellow morel.“Certification is a requirement for selling any of these eight mushrooms in Iowa, but others can benefit by improving their knowledge of Iowa mushrooms and how to distinguish one mushroom from another,” said Harbach.

People can be poisoned by eating misidentified mushrooms, according to Harbach.

The common names of mushrooms that require certification to sell are morel, oyster, chicken of the woods, hen of the woods, chanterelles, bear’s head tooth/lion’s mane, pheasant back, and black trumpet.

The in-person workshops will be held March 25 and April 15, from 2-5 p.m. on the Iowa State University campus, inside room 1302 of the Advanced Teaching and Research Building (1302 ATRB).

Iowans who have not been certified to sell morel mushrooms for three or more years much recertify this year. Registration is open to out-of-state individuals who hunt and sell in Iowa, but keep in mind local certification may be required to sell in your home state.

Participants will receive a copy of the Safe Mushroom Foraging guide, an 80-page field guide published by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, that contains important information about mushrooms found throughout Iowa.

Registration is $60 and can be done online. For the March 25 workshop, register by March 18; for the April 15 workshop, register by April 8.

For more information, contact Chelsea Harbach at pidc@iastate.edu

Date of Publication: 
January, 2023