Iowa State University Extension has scheduled a series of certification workshops in April for people who want to sell morel mushrooms. There are a number of individuals who sell morels not only at farmers markets but to grocery stores and restaurants, too.
"The aim of these workshops is to help assure that misidentified mushrooms are not sold as morels. People can be poisoned by eating mushrooms that are misidentified as morels," says ISU plant pathology professor Mark Gleason, who is coordinating the workshops. "The workshops fulfill a new requirement for anyone wanting to legally sell morels in Iowa. Last year, Iowa's laws changed to make it easier to get the certification needed to sell morels legally in the state".
Gleason will conduct the three-hour sessions on identifying morels and false morels. Certification lasts for three years. The training costs $45 per person, payable at the session by cash or check. Credit cards are not accepted.
The workshops for 2011 will be held at these locations:
Council Bluffs: 1 to 4 p.m. on April 2, at ISU Extension Office, West Pottawattamie County, Iowa School for the Deaf Campus, Careers Building Suite 100, 3501 Harry Langdon Blvd.
Dubuque: 1 to 4 p.m. on April 4, at Dubuque County Extension Office, 14858 West Ridge Lane, Suite 2
Ankeny: 9 a.m. to noon on April 9, at DCI classroom, Des Moines Area Community College, DMACC Blvd. For directions go to the website (go.dmacc.edu/ankeny/maps/Pages/welcome.aspx).
Bettendorf: 1 to 4 p.m. on April 11, at Scott County Extension Office, 875 Tanglefoot Lane
People who are planning to attend one of the workshops are asked to register with Gleason by March 28 at firstname.lastname@example.org or 515-294-0579 so adequate space and materials can be arranged.