In the Winter of 2009 I saw a notice of an event at the Brookings Harbor
Grange hosted by the Wild River Mushroom Club (WRMC). Having no experience
with mushrooms except they came on pizza’s and you could find them in the
market I went. In less than 5 minutes I knew I’d found my destiny. I immediately
signed up for more information and was soon contacted to go on a ‘foray’ !
5 or 6 cars met on a Saturday morning and took off for the upper Chetco in search
of the elusive fungal forest. Later I was to find out the club had been started 2-3 years
earlier with 8 people and with in a year their mailing list grew to over 60. Meetings
rarely went over 15-20. Most of that core to this day remains. The club ‘officially’
disbanded (stopped collecting dues, issuing a news letter/ minutes, etc.) but through the
Fall, Winter and Spring months meet occasionally in members homes for potluck
With the recent rains and more on the way the group had it’s first seasonal meeting
this Saturday. Sauteed mushroom, stuffed mushrooms, mushroom fritters, and even a
mushroom pizza accompanied various varieties of wine. Summer vacations and the early
mushroom finds filled conversations around the room. The next 24-36 hours holding plenty
of rain-promises to the point of tentatively scheduling another foray for this Saturday.
One of the members who had several separate commercial mushroom companies most notably in
Morgan Hill and Watsonville will be starting up a new small operation in Pistol River this Winter.
There is no crystal ball that gives the answer to if it will be a good or not so good mushroom year.
Not only are there local enthusiasts but if conditions are favorable there is a migratory influx of
commercial harvesters. There are critical biological ethics as well as legal requirements when
searching for mushrooms. The group observes and tries to promote the highest compliance to
each for the preservation of wild mushrooms.
If you don’t know what kind of mushroom it is – D O NOT EAT! !!
Anyone who wants further information about the WRMC, their foray’s or
just interested in learning more about mycology and our local resources
contact me, Jaime Yarbrough in Crescent City at: