Growing gourmet and medical mushrooms

Paul Stamets. Growing gourmet and medical mushrooms. - Ten Speed Press, 2000


1. Mushrooms, Civilization and History

2. The Role of Mushrooms in Nature

3.Selecting a Candidate for Cultivation

4. Natural Culture: Creating Mycological Landscapes

5. The Stametsian Model: Permaculture with a Mycological Twist

6. Materials fo rFormulating a Fruiting Substrate

7. Biological Efficiency: An Expression of Yield

8. Home-made vs. Commercial Spawn

9. The Mushroom Life Cycle

10. The Six Vectors of Contamination

11. Mind and Methods for Mushroom Culture

12. Culturing Mushroom Mycelium on Agar Media

13. The Stock Culture Library: A Genetic Bank of Mushroom Strains

14. Evaluating a Mushroom Strain

15. Generating Grain Spawn

16. Creating Sawdust Spawn

17. Growing Gourmet Mushrooms on Enriched Sawdust

18. Cultivating Gourmet Mushrooms on Agricultural Waste Products

19. Cropping Containers

20. Casing: A Topsoil Promoting Mushroom Formation

21. Growth Parameters for Gourmet and Medicinal Mushroom Species

Spawn Run: Colonizing the Substrate

Primordia Formation: The Initiation Strategy

Fruitbody (Mushroom) Development

The Gilled Mushrooms

The Polypore Mushrooms of the Genera Ganoderma, Grifola and Polyporus

The Lion’s Mane of the Genus Hericium

The Wood Ears of the Genus Auricularia

The Morels: Land-Fish Mushrooms of the Genus Morchella

The Morel Life Cycle

22. Maximizing the Substrate’s Potential through Species Sequencing

23. Harvesting, Storing, and Packaging the Crop for Market

24. Mushroom Recipes: Enjoying the Fruits of Your Labors

25. Cultivation problems & Their Solutions: A Troubleshoting guide


I. Description of Environment for a Mushroom Farm

II. Designing and Building A Spawn Laboratory

III. The Growing Room: An Environment for Mushroom Formation & Development

IV. Resource Directory

V. Analyses of Basic Materials Used in Substrate Preparation

VI. Data Conversion Tables






lease pressure during the sterilization cycle are

which the mycelium will grow. Plant tissue

ideal. The old-fashioned pressure canners,

culturists seek a softer, gelatinous form so that
plant starts will grow three dimensionally, deep
into the medium.
Sugars are essential for the healthy growth
of mycelium. For media formulation, complex
sources of sugars (carbohydrates and polysac-

those having weights sitting upon a steam valve,

cause the media to boil as steam is vented. A
huge mess ensues.The pressure cooker should
ideally form a vacuum upon cool-down. If,

upon returning to atmospheric pressure, a
vacuum is not formed, the cultivator must place
the pressure cooker in the clean room or open
it in front of a laminar flow hood while it is still

As the media cools within the pressure
cooker, outside air is sucked in. If this air is
ladened with contaminant spores, the media
contaminates before the cultivator has handled
the flask! One precaution is to saturate a paper
towel with alcohol and drape it over the point
where outside air is being drawn in. The cloth
acts as a filter, lessening the chance of contaminants. Twenty minutes after the heat source has

charides) are recommended. Cornsteep fermentative, cooked potatoes, wood, and barley
malt extracts provide sugars and an assortment
of basic minerals, vitamins, and salts helpful in
the growth of the mushroom mycelium. From
my experiences, simple sugars, while they may
support growth, are not recommended as strains
can not be maintained for long without promot-

ing mutation factors, senescence, or loss of
A variety of nitrogen and carbohydrate based
supplements can be added to fortify the media.
Strains grown repeatedly on mono-specific me-

been turned off, most media vessels can be

dia for prolonged periods risk limiting the

handled without a hot-glove. Prior to that time,
media can be poured, but some form of protection is needed to prevent burns to the hands.
Agar coagulates water when added in excess
of 10 grams per 1000 ml. H20. Only high grade
agar should be used. Various agars differ sub-

repertoire of digestive enzymes to just that formulation. In other words, a strain grown on one
medium adapts to it and may lose its innate ability to digest larger, more complex and variable
substrates. To prevent a strain from becoming
media-specific, the following compounds are
added to 1 liter of MEA or PDA at various intervals, often in combinations:

stantially in their ability to gelatinize water,
their mineral and salt content, as well as their
endemic populations of micro-organisms, including bacteria. (Bacteria, if surviving, often
de-gelatinize the media.) Increasingly, pollu-

tion has affected the refinement of tissuegrade agar, causing the price to spiral. Agar
substitutes such as Geirite TM are widely used
by the plant tissue culture industry. Although
only a few grams are needed per liter, it does not
result in a media firm enough for most mushroom cultivators. Mushroom cultivators desire
a media with a semi-solid, firm surface upon

Nitrogen & Carbohydrate
2 grams yeast or
1-2 grams peptone
2 grams oatmeal, oat bran
2 gram rye or wheat flour
1 gram soybean meal
1 gram spirolina
2 grams high quality dry dog food

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