A lone morel mushroom spotted in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

A lone morel mushroom spotted in a previous season in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

CEDAR RAPIDS – Morel fans will be happy to know that organizers of Houby Days – the Czech Village event that celebrates the mushrooms – plan to have morels for sale again this year.

Last year’s morels sold out quickly, so if you have a craving and can’t find your own, you’ll have to act fast, but not quite yet. Houby Days is still more than a month away, scheduled for May 15-17, 2015.

In the meantime, this week’s dreary weather in Iowa might make conditions a little brighter for mushroom hunting.

Rain is predicted for the majority of the week, followed by temperatures in the 60s and 70s.

That might just do the trick for morels, which need moisture and the right temperatures to “pop.” Experts say soil temperature should be at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit, though others say it should be a bit higher.

Already, some parts of Iowa – in the far southeastern edge and part of the northwest corner – have soil temperatures at or above 50 degrees. Find your area on this map from ISU Extension.

Still, sites such as morelhunters.com aren’t showing morel sightings in Iowa yet, though they are getting close, with both Illinois and northern Missouri reporting recent finds.

Anyone who plans to sell morel mushrooms in Iowa is required to take a certification workshop. All of this year’s sessions are in Ames, with two still remaining.

Details follow about the workshops from Iowa State University Extension, and read more about mushrooms in Iowa here:

Business is mushrooming for Iowa grower

Can you grow morels?

Houby Days photo gallery

Where to find morels in Iowa

AMES, Iowa – Interested in hunting and selling morel mushrooms in Iowa? If so, plan to take this three-hour class in April from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and be certified to sell morel mushrooms legally within the state of Iowa.

“The purpose of the workshops is to help assure that mushrooms sold as morels in the state are actually morels,” said Mark Gleason of ISU Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, who is conducting the workshops. “People can be poisoned by eating mushrooms that are misidentified as morels.”

To legally sell morel mushrooms in Iowa, sellers must complete a certification workshop on identifying morels and false morels. The certification lasts for three years. Iowans who have not certified for three or more years must re-certify this year. Registration is open to out-of-state individuals.

Workshop Agenda
Pre-training identification test
Slide presentation on recognizing morels and false morels as well as other species of wild mushrooms
Examine preserved morels and false morels
Post-training identification test (and re-testing as needed)
Receive wall-size and wallet-size training certificates
Location and Times
All three 2015 morel certification workshops will be held on the Iowa State University campus in Ames, at Room 106, in the Seed Science Building, located at the northwest corner of Wallace Road and Osborn Drive, on the following dates:

Saturday, April 4, 1-4 p.m.
Saturday, April 11, 1-4 p.m.
Saturday, April 18, 1-4 p.m.
Free parking is available near the Seed Science Building, in Lot #41 on the east side of Wallace Road.

To register for the workshop, contact Mark Gleason at 515-294-0579 or email mgleason@iastate.edu. Participants should indicate which workshop they plan to attend. Cost is $50 per person, payable at the training. Cash or checks are accepted; no credit cards.