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Western Washington provides a prime habitat for mushrooms

Joining a mushroom club can provide the right education for those interested. Mushroom clubs can be found throughout western Washington as the region's climate provides a prime habitat for a wide range of species.

Rachel Bouchillon, 2023 president of the South Sound Mushroom Club, became a mushroom enthusiast when she was a kid, and her passion has only grown. Bouchillon said she would go out and hunt for them in the woods to try and identify them.

According to its website, the South Sound Mushroom Club, based out of Olympia, "is dedicated to the finding, identification and eating of mushrooms."

What makes mushrooms so interesting is the fact that what a person sees above ground is just like an apple on a tree, Bouchillon explained.

"What you're seeing above the ground is the fruit of the mushroom, and the bulk of the organism sort of exists as this mesh underground, sort of like roots, called mycelium," she said. "And so you might have a bunch of crazy, different ones just popping up within the same area just because that mycelium exists in the soil. You might not be able to see it, but it's just kind of everywhere, and it allows the mushroom to grow and crop up over really enormous areas."

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