When Celia heard morel picking in Alberta was incredible, she did not hesitate. She and her partner, Benjamin Patarin, packed up and left Quebec for the wild west of mushrooming harvesting, first in Northern Alberta then out to Vancouver Island in 2013. The young French couple were hardly newcomers to the foraging scene. Benjamin had grown up picking nettle in the French Alps alongside his grandmother, while Celia has been plucking wild blueberries in Grenoble since the time she could walk. “We were very surprised, when we got to the Island, to see the thousands of pounds of mushrooms growing everywhere, but few people actually picking them,” says 38-year old Benjamin who has a Masters in Agro-Forestry. “We immediately saw a local market to develop.” Over the last eight years, the couple has dedicated themselves to harvesting chanterelles and morels, setting up two companies: Forest for Dinner sells fresh goods at local farmers’ markets and restaurants and Wild West Foragers exports dried morels to France. But for all the work invested in picking and se