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Mushroom rush in Yukon, Canada

Carmel Kilkenny, Radio Canada International

Morel mushrooms are one the best and most-prized in culinary circles.

And that’s the reason for the current mushroom rush north of Whitehorse, the capital city of Canada’s northwest Yukon territory.

People have come from all over Canada, and some from other parts of the world, to collect the fungi, that go for as much as Canadian $12 (U.S. $11.05) a pound.

That’s what Lorna Janas is paying this year, which is more than twice as much as what pickers were receiving a few years ago.

“We’re swamped,” Janas said in an interview with the CBC. “We buy right until 3 a.m., a couple thousand pounds a night.” Some pickers can make upwards of C$500 (U.S $460) a day. And the days last forever at this time of year, in the land of the midnight sun.


But it’s not easy work. Rudy Van Johnson discovered the opportunity online, and drove up from Vancouver. “Twenty kilometers on the trail, not counting the bush walk,” he says. “You got to be strong. Not made for someone who’s got a weak mind.”

The Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation is having problems with the shroom-boom. Some of the delicacies are on their land, and many pickers are making a mess, and trespassing according to executive director Ed Schultz .

This story is posted on Alaska Dispatch as part of Eye on the Arctic, a collaborative partnership between public and private circumpolar media organizations.