Hunting Morel Mushrooms Is Like Looking For New Product Ideas 

  • By Carrie Jeske
  • 02 May, 2017

What’s a Morel Mushroom?

Morels are prized by gourmet cooks, particularly in French cuisine. However, in the United States, they are preferred fried. Due to difficulties in cultivation, commercial harvesting of wild morels has become a multimillion-dollar industry in the temperate Northern Hemisphere, in particular North America, Turkey, China, the Himalayas, India, and Pakistan, where these highly prized fungi are found in abundance.   They sell online and at Farmers Markets for about $40 per small carton in Kansas City.   Scientists have not discovered a mass production method for growing morels so finding them wild can be a goldmine.   Morchella , the true morels , is a genus of edible sac fungi. These distinctive fungi have a honeycomb appearance, due to the network of ridges with pits composing their cap.


In Kansas City, the morels spring up only for two weeks sometime in April or May. Hunting morels is an art and a science. Morel hunters are highly protective of their sources and methods though YouTube is a helpful place to get started.   Stewart and Carrie Jeske are avid hunters with many patches secretly known only to GPS, on public lands.   They consider hunting a fun personal adventure so won’t take money for morels.   Instead, their friends and family are often blessed with “a mess of morels” as a surprise. They’ve been known to ship overnight when the situation requires it!

Cover A LOT of Ground or Get Lucky #Blessed.

Most of the time, success is hard work. It takes persistence and dedication.   It’s takes simply not accepting failure or redefining it. Not every product will succeed nor will every piece of land produce morel mushrooms.   Sometimes it’s just about not giving up.   Getting up every morning and walking more land or wading through new product submissions or online reviews.   Till at last, the payoff.


Sometimes people get lucky or #blessed.   I heard of story of a kid who went behind the woods at her school and found 28 morel mushrooms in under 30 minutes. That’s golden.   I know a man who glanced at a direct mail catalogue in Australia and spotted the Magic Mesh. He’s a millionaire.

Develop an Eye

Part of success is knowing what to look for. Developing an eye takes experience. You see products come and products go. Years go by. In new product reviews, it’s more about knowing what hasn’t worked in the past, then knowing what will work in the present.  

The same is true for mushrooms. There are many varieties to identify and poisonous false morels that lead to sickness.   Making mistakes is costly.  

The Morels blend into their environments so it’s hard to see them through all the bushes, grass and trees.   Once a patch is found, it generally continues to produce mushrooms for a few years so knowing where to look is a big advantage.