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





passing the door to her lab. This illustrates that

the cultivator's unconscious activities profoundly influence the outcome of tissue culture

transfers. Every action in the laboratory has

Cloning Wild Specimens vs.
Cloning Cultivated Mushrooms
Many people ask "What is wrong with just
cloning a nice looking specimen from each crop
of cultivated mushrooms to get a new strain?"
Although morphological traits can be partially

selected for, senescence factors are soon encountered. Generating mycelium in this fashion
is a fast-track to genetic demise, quickly leading to loss of vigor and yield. By not returning
to stock cultures, to young cell lines, one has
gone furthest downstream one linear chain of
Figure 73. A laminar flow bench suitable for home
or small-scale commercial cultivation.

ing the sterile airstream. If the lids must be laid

down, they are positioned undersides up, upstream of the operations area, so that
contaminants are not picked up off the table.
Always presume the air coming off the face of
the micron filter is cleaner than the work surface in front of it.

Culture transfers that are fast, evenly repeated, and in quick succession usually are the
most successful.The simplest acts dramatically
impact sterile technique. Merely breathing over
exposed petri dishes significantly affects con-

tamination levels. Singing, for instance, is
associated with a high rate of bacterial contami-

nation. One bewildered professor discovered
that her soliloquies in the laboratory—she sang
as the radio blared—were a direct cause of high

contamination rates. An alert student discovered her digression from sterile technique upon

cells. Mushrooms, like every sexually reproducing organism on this planet, can generate a
limited number of cell divisions before vitality
falters. Sectoring, slow growth, anemic mushroom formation, malformation, orno mushroom
formation at all, are all classic symptoms of senescence. Although senescence is a frequently
encountered phenomenon with cultivators, the
mechanism is poorly understood. (See Kuck et
al., 1985.)
In the competitive field of mycology, strains
are all-important.With the aforesaid precautions
and our present day technologies, strains can be
preserved for decades, probably centuries, all-

the-while kept within a few thousand cell
divisions from the original culture. Since we still
live in an era of relatively rich fungal diversity,

the time is now to preserve as many cell lines
from the wild as possible. As bio-diversity declines, the gene pool contracts. I strongly believe
that the future health of the planet may well depend upon the strains we preserve this century.

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