Recent rains spur growth in mushrooms
The Sportsmanís Report
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By Bill Hanson  November 29, 2013 12:00 am

I plan to go out for crabs in time for Thanksgiving, but we may end up eating chicken instead. 

My mother used to spend hours getting those little lines in the canned cranberry jelly. I guess things do change after all, because my plan is to make California Rolls with fresh crab, wasabi, avocado and miso soup.

Mushrooms are responding to the rains last week. Try to get up to Salt Point Park or to your favorite spot to foray for fungus. Coccora should be up. With golden Chanterelle, watch for the bigger hedgehogs. With Repandium, the toothed bottom will be the biggest clue for identifying this excellent edible. 

It is also time for the exotic Matsutaki. In our area look under Madrone mixed with fir and oak. From the topside, this mushroom is big, usually bright white and is easy to mistake for the tasteless Russula or the reverse. 

After you find one Matsutaki and get a whiff under the cap, you won’t confuse it with any other. 

For excellent help on the web, go to to find the species index and excellent description on a point-to-point basis. 

Surf around the website for some excellent recipes.


Fungus fair

The annual Fungus Fair will be Dec. 8. “A Celebration of Wild Mushrooms” is the title this year, the 44th fair for the Mycological Society of San Francisco. It is always fun and informative. 

The fair is back in Golden Gate Park this year, so be sure to visit their website – – for details on location, parking and hours. The club’s website also has plenty of cool things to learn and information about becoming a member. I belong to both, the MSSF and the Sonoma County Society ‘SOMA’ (

The club sets up specimen tables, mushroom medicine, mushroom for dyeing, mushroom cooking and on and on. Even if you are a seasoned fungus nut, the fair is fun. It is an easy Sunday drive from Rohnert Park. Kids love it because there are cool crafts and things for them to see and do.


Bill Hanson is a Sonoma County native and a lifelong sportsman. He is the former president of the Sonoma County Mycological Association. Look for his column in The Community Voice each week.

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