©2011 Galesburg Broadcasting Co.
|A Morel-Lovers Delight
|A mushroom that you can find all over this time of year is the subject of a festival in a nearby community.
The town of Wyoming in Stark County expanded its fifth annual Morel Mushroom festival to two days this year, owing to its success. In addition to a celebration of the Morel, there were also craft booths, food vendors, and a large live auction of Morels -- some going for hundreds of dollars for just a half-pound.
Duke Frisby of Kewanee organizes the festival, and tells WGIL some of the Morels can bring in some big bucks.
"On a good year, when there's plenty of mushrooms, they'll start out high, then work their way down to reasonable prices," Frisby said. "It's supply and demand."
Frisby tells WGIL the festival has grown fast, and for a few reasons.
"Word of mouth has helped quite a bit," Frisby said. "We also have a Facebook page, Stark County Morel Mushroom Festival. And we have thousands of hits on that. Plus...radio stations that come down and interview us, that helps quite a bit, too."
Organizers say people from the Quad Cities to Peoria and beyond, even those from Galesburg, come to the festival every year to try and get their hands on some.
People like Ed Peterson of Neponset.
"I'm actually not sure how much I spent," Peterson said, laughing.
Peterson, said by many attendees to buy the first bag of Morels every year, paid $280 for the first bag worth this year, totaling around a half-pound of the fungus.
Peterson says there's a good reason why he's willing to pay so much.
"They taste better than any mushroom I've ever had, sauteed in butter," Peterson said.
Does Peterson hunt what he calls the best-tasting mushroom himself? "I don't have the patience," he said.
This is the first year the Morel mushroom festival was expanded to two days. It wraps up Sunday.
(Bags of Morel mushrooms ready to be auctioned off Saturday.)
(Crafts based on Morel mushrooms.)
(The crowd prepares to take part in the annual Morel mushroom auction.)
(Ed Peterson of Neponset bids on the first set of Morel mushrooms. WGIL News Story and Photos by Will Stevenson.)
|05 05 13 by Newsroom
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