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'An incredibly good year': Manitoba’s foraging community celebrating high mushroom year

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At least one group of Manitobans is enjoying the rain we’ve been receiving.

Manitoba’s foraging community said the recent wet weather has been positive for allowing fungi such as morel mushrooms to grow.

“This year especially it's an incredibly good year,” said Tom Nagy from River City Mushrooms. “The moisture, the consistent rain, the cooler weather. It not only helped them to flourish, and produce lots, but also the fact that it was cooler helped to extend the season quite a bit longer."

Lisa Barnes, a forager in Manitoba, said the size of the mushrooms found this year is impressive, especially when it comes to morels.

"This year we've seen bigger ones than we've ever seen before. We've found ones bigger than our hands," she said.

Barnes uses the fungi in the products she makes for her business, while for others, it’s simply a way to find a natural food source.

However, not all wild mushrooms are tasty, and the wrong one can leave more than a bad taste in your mouth.

“There are delicious ones in the forest, but there are things that will kill you over six weeks,” said Susan Kaminiskyj, a biology professor at the University of Saskatchewan. “Because they stop you from making protein. And when you stop making proteins your cells start to die and you die.”

Nagy said it is important to know what you’re doing before you start picking wild mushrooms. He suggests speaking with experts and doing a lot of research.

"The fungal kingdom is so enormously diverse; there's so many different species out there," he said.

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