Mushroom rush in Yukon, Canada

A closeup of fresh morel mushrooms. (iStock)
A closeup of fresh morel mushrooms. (iStock)
Morel mushrooms are one the best and most-prized in culinary circles.

And that’s the reason for the current mushroom rush north of Whitehorse, the capital city of Canada’s northwest Yukon territory.

People have come from all over Canada, and some from other parts of the world, to collect the fungi, that go for as much as $12 a pound.

That’s what Lorna Janas is paying this year, which is more than twice as much as what pickers were receiving a few years ago.

In an interview with CBC Janas said, “We’re swamped,” she says. “We buy right until 3 a.m., a couple thousand pounds a night.” Some pickers can make upwards of $500 a day. And the days last forever at this time of year, in the land of the midnight sun.

Shroom-boom

But it’s not easy work. Rudy Van Johnson discovered the opportunity online, and drove up from Vancouver. “Twenty kilometres on the trail, not counting the bush walk,” he says. “You got to be strong. Not made for someone who’s got a weak mind.”

The Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation is having problems with the shroom-boom. Some of the delicacies are on their land, and many pickers are making a mess, and trespassing according to executive director Ed Schultz .

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Plants revived after 400 years in Arctic ice, The Canadian Press

Finland:  Reindeer husbandry falters in Finland, Yle News

Greenland: Researchers must be honest with Arctic peoples about food contaminants: doctor, Eye on the Arctic

Sweden:  Sweden’s climate-friendly food advice project scrapped, Radio Sweden

United States:  Foraging for Alaska’s wild plants, Alaska Dispatch

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Carmel Kilkenny

Carmel Kilkenny grew up in Toronto as it was in the early stages of becoming the "most multi-cultural city" in the world. A year living in Paris, France provided the time and opportunity to study the language, and experience the culture. It also provided a base to visit other European destinations. Now Carmel makes her home in Montreal, Quebec. Following a degree in Communication Studies and Journalism, Carmel anchored Quebec’s late-night TV newscast, worked in radio, locally and on RCI’s short-waves, and spent some time sharing daily forecasts on a network of radio stations across Canada as a weather specialist. These days, as a freelance writer-broadcaster, she is lending her voice and writing skills to a number of projects and continuing to share great Canadian stories on Radio Canada International’s website. RCI journalist Carmel Kilkenny dies after short illness

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