2017 Morel Mushroom Courses
This will be our third year offering Morel Mushroom Courses. Residents of Indiana did have a way to comply with the state law requiring all mushrooms that are sold to be "individually inspected by a mushroom identification expert." We have received many complaints from foragers who are not able to sell their wild harvest because they are not able to have them properly certified. We worked with the Indiana State Department of Health and Purdue Extension in order to get the ability to offer certifications that will be accepted by the State of Indiana.
2017 courses will be held in Bloomington, Indianapolis, and South Bend, Indiana. The morel course is typically 3-4 hours long and has three main components - morel mushrooms, morel mushroom lookalikes, and food safety. We offer a wild mushroom course early in the summer that covers additional species.
Registration for the morel course includes a 2017 membership for the Hoosier Mushroom Society.
What types of courses will be held?
There are two different courses being offered - morels and wild edible mushrooms. The morel course will cover all the species of morel mushrooms and include a food handling component. The second course will cover additional wild mushrooms that can be certified in the state, including:
Oysters – Pleurotus ostreatus & P. pulmonarius
Chicken of the Woods – Laetiporus sulphureus & L. cincinnatus (with caution)
Hen of the Woods – Maitake – Grifola frondosa
Chanterelles – Cantharellus lateritius, C. cibarius group (No others)
Lion’s Mane – Hericium erinaceus, H. coralloides, H. americanus
Black Trumpets – Craterellus cornucopiodes
Puffballs – Calvatia gigantea, Lycoperdon pyriforme, etc.
Where will these courses be held?
The morel certification courses will be held in Bloomington, Indianapolis, and South Bend. If there is a significant interest, we will offer more classes in other locations around the state. If you sign up for a course at one of our initial locations and we create a new course closer to your home, you will be able to switch to the new location. The initial locations and dates will be:
March 4, 2017 - near Bloomington, IN - Ellettsville Public Library - Register
March 11, 2017 - Indianapolis, IN - University of Indianapolis - Register
March 25, 2017 - South Bend Indiana - Kroc Community Center - Register
Dates have not yet been scheduled for certification courses involving other wild mushrooms. They will occur in the summer and fall.
Is registration limited?
Yes, each course will be limited to 30 participants. Payment will be required at the time of registration in order to reserve your spot. We will only allow on-site registrations if there are spaces available. We will not offer refunds for this course, but we will offer the opportunity for individuals to adjust the date of the course they attend.
How much will these certification courses cost?
The Morel Mushroom Certification course will be $75. The Wild Mushroom Certification course will be $125.
Why should I get certified?
One of the reasons wild mushrooms are rarely foraged and sold commercially around the state is a lack of confidence in the system. Many buyers (restaurants and groceries) do not have the ability to properly assess whether the mushrooms someone brings in was identified correctly. A certification program for Indiana will allow a trusted marketplace for mushrooms to develop in Indiana.
Becoming certified will allow you to legally sell wild mushrooms within the state of Indiana, certifying them yourself, without having to take them to another mushroom identification expert.
Are there any experience requirements for attending the course?
Our courses are designed to allow people from all experience levels to become certified. There are no prior experiential requirements. The course will cover all of the necessary components for any individual to become comfortable with the specific mushrooms the course is for.
You must attend the morel certification course before you can become certified for any other mushrooms. The morel course includes a component on food handling that will be required before you can be certified on any of the other species. A food handling certification is an acceptable alternative to the morel course.
What should I expect from the course?
Each course will cover all of the aspects that are necessary for proper identification for the specific mushrooms the course is about. Each participant will receive a study guide that contains all of the slides, as well as additional information on the topics being presented.
There will be a test at the end of the course to test your knowledge on the topic. There will be the opportunity to retest as needed.
At the end of the course you will receive a wallet card stating that you are a certified expert and what mushrooms you are certified for. Your name will optionally be put into a publicly accessible database of individuals who are certified to sell wild mushrooms in the state.
Who is the certification from?
The certification of this course is from the Hoosier Mushroom Society. The Indiana State Department of Health and county health departments will honor this certification as a basis for fulfilling the requirement of mushrooms needing to be certified by a "mushroom identification expert" before they can be sold.
Does this course allow me to become an expert on all mushrooms?
No. Indiana has probably 2000-3000 different species of mushrooms. You will not be able to take this course and be able to identify every mushroom in the woods. This course has a very specific list of species that it is focused on. These include the best edible mushrooms, with the most characters to allow for an accurate identification. These species represent the list that have been approved for sale in the State of Indiana and that the Hoosier Mushroom Society is willing to certify people for. You will only be certified for the species listed, not all wild mushrooms.
How long will the certification be valid for?
This certification will be good for 3 years. There will be a discounted course fee for people looking to become recertified after this time period.
Are there age restrictions on the course?
Yes, individuals must be 16 years or older to attend.
I live outside of Indiana. Can I register for this course?
Yes, this program is open to individuals from outside of the state. As we are not familiar with all regulations in surrounding states, you need to speak with your state health department to ensure they will honor certifications from outside of your home state.
I am not interested in selling mushrooms. Can I attend solely for educational purposes?
Yes, and it is very much encouraged. One of the reasons we put this course together is to increase the overall level of education about mushrooms in the State of Indiana.
I have additional questions. Who should I contact?
Please contact Steve Russell of the Hoosier Mushroom Society by email at steve@hoosiermushrooms or by phone at 765-532-4227 after 5pm.