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





lation loop until red hot and immediately cool-

ing it in a petri dish filled with a sterilized
nutrient medium. The tip immediately sizzles
as it cools.The tip can now touch the spore print
without harm, picking up hundreds of spores in
the process. (By touching the tip to the medium-

filled petri dish first, not only is it cooled, but
the tip becomes covered with a moist, adhesive
layer of media to which spores easily attach.)
The tip can now be streaked in an "5" pattern
across the surface of another media dish. With
heavy spore prints, the"S" streaking technique
may not sufficiently disperse the spores. In this
case, the scalpel or inoculation loop should be
immersed into a sterile vial holding 10cc. (ml.)
of water. After shaking thoroughly, one drop (or
1/10th of 1 cc.) is placed onto the surface of the

nutrient medium in each petri dish. Each dish
should be tilted back and forth so that the spore82. scannrng eiectron micrograph of spores
infected with bacteria.

enriched droplet streaks across the surface,
leaving a trail of dispersed spores. In either


case, spores will be spread apart from one an-

Spores have several advantages. Once a
spore print has been obtained, it can be sealed
and stored, even sent through the mail, with
little ill effect. For the traveller, spore prints are
an easy way to send back potential new strains
to the home laboratory. Spores offer the most
diverse source of genetic characteristics, far
more than the phenotypic clone. If you want the
greatest number of strains, collect the spores.
If you want to capture the characteristics of the

mushroom you have found, then clone the
mushroom by cutting out a piece of living tissue.

Germinating Spores
To germinate spores, an inoculation ioop, a
sterilized needle, or scalpel is brought into contact with the spore print. (I prefer an inoculation
loop.) I recommend flame sterilizing an mod-

other, so that individual germinations can occur.
Five days later, spores may be seen germinating according to the streaking pattern. Colonies
of germinating spores are subcultured into more

petri dishes. (See Figure 80.) After the mycelium has grown away from the subculture site,
a small fragment of pure mycelium is again subcultured into more petri dishes. If these cultures
do not sector, then back-ups are made for stor-

age and future use. This last transfer usually
results in individual dikaryotic strains which are
labelled. Each labelled strain is then tested for
productivity. Mini-culture experiments must be
conducted prior to commercial-level production.
When a concentrated mass of spores is ger-

minated, the likelihood of bacteria and weed
fungi infesting the site is greatly increased. Bacteria replicate faster than mushroom spores can

germinate. As a result, the germinatng spores

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