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.