Cultivating Morel Mushrooms

Created with SARE support
Ashlynn Morin, Bryan Rennick, Scott Swinton, Gregory Bonito | 2024

One of the more iconic and recognizable mushrooms, morels are famed for their distinctive appearance and their exquisite taste. This fungus is characterized by its unique 'pitted and ridged' cap, as well as its earthy and nutty flavor. Morels have been recorded on all continents except Antarctica, thus with its widespread nature it comes to no surprise it is as coveted as it is in many countries around the world.

Collaborating with farmers, Dr. Gregory Bonito and researchers at Michigan State University have been experimenting with outdoor morel cultivation in forest and low- and high-tunnel systems, and have compared yield and market considerations among these systems.

They have experienced continued interest and eagerness to cultivate morels, and are frequently contacted with questions about morel cultivation methods and supplies. While they were able to cultivate morels with repeated success with different species, isolates, habitats, and cultivation methods, the researchers pointed out that due to overall variability and low yields, morel cultivation would not be a profitable enterprise in the North Central region at this time. 

They developed a morel cultivation web-portal provides basic information on morels, summarizes what they learned, and provides resources of interest.


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This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture through the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.