Valley's Newest Cash Crop: Wild Mushrooms - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

Valley's Newest Cash Crop: Wild Mushrooms

Posted:
NEAR SELMA -

They're considered weeds to most farmers but some people are willing to face trespassing charges to pick wild mushrooms in Valley vineyards.  Fresno County Sheriff's Deputies detained three people late Thursday morning picking wild mushrooms about ten miles west of Selma. 

The farmer called the Sheriff's Office to complain about the trespassers but he was also worried because the mushrooms had been sprayed with an herbicide to kill all the weeds in his vineyard. 

Deputy Karen Haynes says Thursday makes her fourth call involving people picking mushrooms on farm property without permission. "Their roots are in the ground.  They just stick out of the ground.  They just go through and pick them up."

Deputy Haynes says people who harvest the wild mushrooms sell them to local fruit stands.  The cone shaped mushrooms are Morels.  They are fragile, have a light woodsy flavor, are highly perishable and tend to be pricey.  A pound of fresh morel mushrooms sell for $32.99 on an Internet web site.

In Thursday's case the grower refused to press charges so two of the three people caught were released.  An unidentified woman was taken into custody and booked for possession of drug paraphernalia.  Her car was towed and the two men had to walk back to town.   

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