Did You Know Michigan Is Home To The Mushroom Capital Of The United States?
Mushrooms are a touchy subject; you either love them or you hate them. I, for one, happen to love mushrooms. That's why I was so excited to learned Michigan is home to the "Mushroom Capital of the United States."
At least when it comes to morels, Michiganders take their mushroom hunting very seriously. Come springtime you'll find us traversing through our favorite fields and forests with our nets, turning over stones and logs to find the highly coveted mushroom.
Spring's warm and wet conditions are ideal for fruiting morels. These mushrooms can appear as early as late April and last through mid-June, but May is officially morel month in Michigan. That's when the Mesick Mushroom Festival takes place!
If you've never heard of Mesick you're not alone, the tiny community is technically considered a village with a population of only 397 per the 2020 census. However, each spring Mesick comes alive with mushroom enthusiasts from all over the country.
The 64th annual event will take place May 12-14, 2023 and features mushroom hunting, parade, concerts, family-friendly events, and vendors. This all sounds like a lot of fun, but why is Mesick of all places considered the mushroom capital?
I found that nearly every website that references Mesick refers to it as the "capital", but doesn't say why. What makes Mesick so special? Thankfully, Michigan.org has some insight:
the small town of Mesick is a must-visit place for beginner and expert hunters alike. Located northwest of Cadillac above the Huron-Manistee National Forest, Mesick is known for being a great area for finding morel mushrooms in particular... there’s a better chance that hunters both new and experienced will be able to find some of these elusive mushrooms during the festival.
I've only been morel hunting once or twice in my time and I never seem to have much luck. Sounds like the best way to find them this season will be to head Up North and attend the Mushroom Festival.
Have you had much finding morels in Southwest Michigan?