These are some of today’s harvest. Been picking all week and will have them at my booth at the Knoxville Market Square Farmers Market tomorrow – Sat June 27.
A lot of my spots have not started, but some have. This, I believe, is as much about the DNA and natural variability of the creature as it is about the weather. What I have found have been in the bottom of wet drainages with significant beech and white oak, The ones in this picture were along the banks of the drains in a wide hollow where the drains start to braid. Southerners will know what I mean.
I have found some in drier locations, but they have been spotty and dry. Hopefully, the rain due (??) this weekend will help some of these locations flush. On the other hand, it’s this variability of DNA, weather, site, etc. that makes chanterelle season such a long and productive time. So . . . never write off a site that looks good until the season is over. Keep going back and over time you will have productive patches that , overall, yield chanterelles from mid-June ’til early fall. Love ‘em !!!
Typically, in East Tennessee, chanterelle season is from around July 1st into September, depending on elevation, rainfall and temperatures. I have a small patch within a larger productive area where chanterelles start showing up as “pin head buttons” a little earlier. The one pictured here is in a small clump of moss. I took the picture last Sunday, May 31.
Like many mushrooms , chanterelles have a season, but within that season one will find variability in fruiting. That’s great because it leads to the months-long season we have. Unlike morels, where a particular patch seems to fruit all at once, a chanterelle patch will typically contain a variety of age classes – little ones and big ones. Always revisit a patch.
How fast do chanterelles grow? Today, June 6, I took this photo in the same place. They grow slowly, but, fortunately, also degrade slowly. By next weekend I should be able to pick a few small ones in this area. Actually, last year on June 15, I picked 1/2 pound in this spot. In two weeks, or around the 20th, I should be able to get enough for dinner and then by July 1st the game is on!!
I was excited to see that, at this point, chanterelles are on schedule, because I have several guided forays scheduled in early July, and chefs are ready for mushrooms. I’ll keep you posted here on what is coming up as I find them. Be looking for Lactarius volemus and L. corrugis also. June is a good black trumpet month if you know where to look.
I continually have people asking me if I take people on mushroom forays. I am now offering a structured way to make this happen. For information click on the menu link “Mushroom Guide“.