Boletes mushrooms. Courtesy/UNM-LA
The recent rains have made local mountainsides green, wildflowers dot the mesa tops, and the wild mushrooms abundant if one knows where to look.
That’s why UNM-LA Community Education is excited to offer a mushroom hike 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22. Experienced mushroom forager Thomas Peña is leading the hike.
“This year’s precipitation is going to be a real boon for the mushrooms,” Peña said. “Normally, the area where we hike is quite green and lush, but this should be a banner year.”
This one-day outing will have students hiking in the beautiful Jemez Mountains for Chanterelles, Boletes, and Shaggy Mane mushrooms which are all superb gourmet mushrooms according to Peña.
During this mushroom hunting excursion, Peña will educate hikers on the characteristics of the choice mushrooms and distinguish which mushrooms should be left alone. At the conclusion of the hike, a short tasting of the harvest will take place along with tips on mushroom preparation.
Students will meet at the tourist center at the intersection of N.M. 126 and U.S. 550 and car pool to the trailhead. Participants should bring water, good hiking boots, and paper bags for collecting mushrooms.
Thomas Peña has more than 20 years teaching experience through Community Education and also teaches a popular fly fishing class coming up in October.
Registration is required and the cost of the class is $80 per student.
For more information about this, or any other Community Education class, contact UNM-LA Community Education at 505.662.0346, or by email firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration is available online by visiting http://losalamos.unm.edu/community-education/experience-new-mexico.html.