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






Culture slants are like "back-ups" in the computer industry. Since every mushroom strain is
certain to die out, one is forced to return to the
stock library for genetically younger copies.
Good mushroom strains are hard to come by,
compared to the number of poor performers isolated from nature. Hence, the Culture Library,
a.k.a. the Strain Bank, is the pivotal center of
any mushroom cultivation enterprise.

Preserving the
Culture Library
One culture in a standard 100 x 15 mm. petri
dish can inoculate 50-100 test tube slants measuring 100 x 20 mm. After incubation for 1-4
weeks, or until a luxurious mycelium has been

established, the test tube cultures are placed
into cold storage. I seal the gap between the
screw cap and the glass tube with a commercially available elastic, wax-like film. (Those
test tube slants not sealed with this film are
prone to contaminate with molds after several
months of cold storage.) Culture banks inAsia
commonly preserve cultures in straight test
tubes whose ends are stuffed with a hydropho-

bic cotton or gauze. The gauze is sometimes
covered with plastic film and secured tightly
with a rubber band. Other libraries offer cultures in test tubes fitted with a press-on plastic
lid especially designed for gas exchange. The
need for gas exchange is minimal—provided
the culture's growth is slowed down by timely
placement into cold storage. Culture slants
stored at room temperature have a maximum
life of 6-12 months whereas cultures kept under refrigeration survive for 5 years or more.
Multiple back-ups of each strain are strongly
recommended as there is a natural attrition over
Ipreferto seal test-tube slants in plastic zip-lock
bags .Thme to four bags, each containing 4 slants,

Figure 83. Stock Cultures, in quadruplicate, sealed
in a plastic bag, stored in a cedar box, and refrigerated for years at 35° F. (1-2° C.) until needed.

are then stored in at least two locations remote
from the main laboratory. This additional safety
precaution prevents events like fires, electrical failure, misguided law enforcement officials, or other
naturni disasters from destroying your most valu-

able asset—The Culture Library.
Household refrigerators, especially modern
ones, suffice. Those refrigerators having the
greatest mass, with thermostatic controls lim-

iting variation in temperature, are best for
culture storage. With temperature variation,
condensation occurs within the culture tubes,
spreading a contaminant, should it be present,
throughout the culture. Therefore, limiting temperature fluctuation to 2-3° F. (1°C.) is crucial
for long term culture preservation. Furthermore, when mushroom cultures freeze and
thaw repeatedly, they die.

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