In southern California, there are many edible mushrooms that can be found. The most well-known of these are chanterelles, morels, porcinis and truffles. However, I’m not certain if these can be found specifically in the San Jacinto mountains; I know they are found in the greater L.A. area. When collecting wild mushrooms, it is crucial to be able to differentiate between edible and poisonous mushrooms, and there are many resources to do so like this website here.
It’s definitely good to mention the risk of collecting poisonous mushrooms! Even experienced mushroom collectors make mistakes, and get sick, or even die!
Having grown mushrooms at home from kits a few times, it’s easy and can be relatively cost-effective. My thought about collecting wild mushrooms is … eeeeugh … who knows what “natural” fertilizer is there. Or for that matter, in an urban area, if the ground isn’t polluted.
Picking natural sounds like fun, but thinking about it, it isn’t cheap, fast, safe, or even necessarily healthy.
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