Mushroom foraging with Relish Culinary Adventures

Foraging (or wildcrafting) is the ancient practice of collecting wild-grown ingredients for use as food, medicine, and even arts and crafts. Sound fun to you, but wary of heading into the wilderness to seek strange plants, fungi, and sea plants all on your own? The following guided foraging adventures in Sonoma County provide you with the knowledge, expertise, and safety you crave.  

Leave No Trace logoAnd while enjoying your foraging adventures, please consider following the principles of Leave No Trace, and endeavor to minimize impacts to outdoor spaces as much as possible. 

Wild Mushroom Foraging with a Guide

Wild mushroom season in Sonoma County is dependent on rain, but is usually October through April. The New York Times recently forecast mushrooms as ingredient of the year for 2022, so this autumn will (once again) be fungi’s turn to shine. Wild mushrooms commonly found in Sonoma County include chanterelles, boletes, black trumpets, morels, hedgehogs, and candy cap — a deliciously unusual ‘shroom that tastes like maple syrup. 

Mushroom Forays with Sonoma County Mycological Association
Mushroom ID session with SOMA at Salt Point State Park
Mushroom ID session with SOMA at Salt Point State Park 

Mycological means “of or pertaining to mushrooms,” and that’s what the knowledgeable fungi folk of Sonoma County Mycological Association (SOMA) are all about. Throughout the entire season, their Mushroom Forays invite the public into the coastal woods at Salt Point State Park to collect wild mushrooms. Groups meet at the Woodside Day Use Area for a roughly four-hour adventure that includes foraging, a mushroom-based dish cooked onsite by club chefs (plus participant potluck), and an ID session to learn about your mushroom haul. 

Wild Mushroom Foraging with Relish Culinary Adventures
Mushrooms foraged from Notre Vue with Relish Culinary Adventures
Mushrooms foraged from Notre Vue Winery with Relish Culinary Adventures

Throughout the winter, Healdsburg-based Relish partners with Bay Area foraging expert David Campbell to host mushroom forays at Notre Vue Estate Winery & Vineyards in Windsor. You’ll learn the fundamentals of foraging, including what trees and terrain to look for, Sonoma County’s most easily recognizable edible mushrooms, tips on safety and more. After gathering in the estate’s forests, you’ll head back to the winery for a fungi-focused cooking demonstration led by chef Julie Schreiber, resulting in a four-course mushroom lunch paired with Notre Vue wines.

Seaweed Foraging Adventure with ForageSF

June and July are seaweed foraging months on the Sonoma Coast
June and July are seaweed foraging months on the Sonoma Coast 

June and July are prime months for edible seaweed collecting on the Sonoma Coast. ForageSF invites you for a two-to-three-hour guided morning foray to examine underwater life with a seaweed expert, learning what to pick, how to pick it, and how to make it taste delicious. You’ll meet your guide at low tide on a beach whose location will be revealed one week prior, and after you collect up to 10 pounds of edible seaweed, your guide will talk with you about what you collected, the science of seaweed, and how to cook your catch. You won’t need to get in the ocean, but it’s recommended that you wear rain boots.

Foraging Events with Sonoma County Herb Association

Herb foraging is just one event offered by SCHA
Herb foraging is just one event offered by SCHA

Popular for their clearinghouse of locally and ecologically grown herbs, this Sonoma County herbal education nonprofit sponsors various foraging events throughout the year, including mushroom, seaweed, and “herb walk” foraging events, as well as tutorials on foraging for craft materials in the wild and how to prepare your own herbal medicines. Sonoma County Herb Association (SCHA) frequently updates its website with new events, but the best way to stay in the know is to join its email list

Educational Treks and Camps with LandPaths

Fungi foraging for kids on a LandPaths trek
Fungi foraging for kids on a LandPaths trek 

The main mission of this 25-year-old nonprofit is fostering a love of the land in Sonoma County. To this end, they host educational treks and camps for kids and teens (ages 6-17) designed to connect them to natural landscapes, ecosystems, and each other — learning about wild plants along the way. Treks range from a few hours to several days, and camp experiences last at least four days. In spring and summer, they also host guided wildflower walks/events for adults and children in the Bohemia Ecological Preserve. See their Events page for the latest listings. 


Written by Melanie Wynne

You Might Also Like

handmade pizza at Glen Ellen Star
Trip Itineraries

As a Sonoma local, I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing Sonoma County’s finest offerings and generally end up with the…

Movie Prop Car On Display at Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Occidental
Activities

As you meander the wee 60-yard block of downtown, strolling its wooden sidewalks past 19th-century, false-front buildings, you’ll feel as…

Winter scenery at Luther Burbank in Sebastopol CA
Outdoor Activities

Lush greenery, foggy coastlines, seasonal harvests and unique wildlife sightings – Sonoma County in winter is a place where visitors…

Hot air balloon ride in sonoma county
Sightseeing & Tours

Without a doubt, Wine Country is one of the world’s most breathtaking regions to travel through whether you are looking…

Girls Getaway in Sonoma County
Food & Wine

Winter might be considered the off-season for many of the world’s hottest travel destinations, but a Wine Country visit between…

Pig at Charlie's Acres
Sustainable Travel

Need a pick-me-up? These nonprofits offer ways to spend time with cute animals — you could even try some goat…

Yellow wildflowers covering field
Outdoor Activities

Springtime in Sonoma County is hard to beat! Plan ahead with our weekend-by-weekend, month-by-month collection of popular experiences — from…

Wingo, California, Sonoma County’s Ghost Town, photographed by @chrisjkam
Outdoor Activities

Traveling mindfully to Sonoma County allows us to have experiences that can be savored in a place focused on and…

Tolay Lake Regional Park
Outdoor/Nature

More than (just) a premier Wine Country destination, Sonoma County’s myriad of options allow travelers to connect with the destination…

Couple at beach with dog
Outdoor Activities

Find hidden gems, outdoor adventures and more with tips from those who know the coast better than anyone: The locals….

See What’s Happening

Share your experience using #SonomaCounty or #LifeOpensUp