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





C # 0825905
This means: the strain,Flammulina velutipes
isolated from Telluride, Colorado, has grown
out over two petri dishes since its inception (in
this case 8190).The collection number refers to
the date the mushrooms were collected in the

wild: it was the fifth group of mushrooms found

that day. (Others sequentially list their collections, from ito infinity.) The culture should be
referenced to a dried voucher specimen from
which the strain was generated. The dried speci-

mens are either kept in your own private
herbarium, or, better yet, deposited in an academically recognized herbarium which

cross-indexes collections by date, species
name, and collector. Keeping a voucher collection is critical so future researchers can
commonly refer to the same physical standard.

The date "1 1/16/92" refers to the time the
medium was inoculated. Spawn created from
such young cultures, in contrast to one grown
out twenty times as far, gives rise to more highly
productive mycelium. The "P" value system is
essentially a metric ruler for measuring relative

numbers of cell divisions from the culture's
birth. (Note that a square centimeter of mycehum is generally transferred from one culture
dish to the next.) I have strains in my posses-

sion, from which I regularly regenerate
cultures, which are ten years old and kept at a
P2 or P3. Having ten to twenty back-up culture
slants greatly helps in this pursuit.
For purposes of commercial production, I try
to maintain cell lines within
that is, within
10 successive transfers to medium-filled petri
dishes. Many strains of Morels, Shiitake and
King Stropharia express mutations when trans-


ferred on media for more than 10 petri dishes.
Morels seem particularly susceptible to degeneration. Morchella angusticeps loses its ability
to form micro-sc lerotia in as few as 6 or 7 plate
transfers from the original tissue culture.
The slowing of mycelium may also be partly
due to media specificity, i. e. the agar formula

selectively influences the type of mycelial
growth.To ameliorate degenerative effects, the
addition of extracted end-substrates (sawdust,
straw, etc.) favors the normal development of

mycehium. The introduction of the end-substrate acquaints the mushroom mycelium with
its destined fruiting habitat, challenging the
mycelium and selectively activating its enzymatic systems. This familiarity with the
end-substrate greatly improves performance
later on. Parent cells retain a"genetic memory"
passed downstream through the mycelial net-

works. Mycelia grown in this fashion are far
better prepared than mycelia not exposed to
such cultural conditions. Not only is the speed
of colonization accelerated, but the time to
fruiting is shortened. Only 1-3 grams of sub-

strate is recommended per liter of nutrient
medium. Substrates high in endospores (such
as manures or soils ) should be treated by first
boiling an aqueous concoction for at least an

hour. After boiling, sugar, agar and other
supplements are added, and the media is sterilized using standard procedures described in
Chapter 12.
By observing the cultures daily, the changeover of characteristics defines what is healthy
mycelium and what is not. This book strives to
show the mycelium of each species and its transformafions leading to fruiting. Variations from the
norm should alert the cultivator that the strain is
in an active state of mutation. Rarely do mutations
in the mycelium result in a stronger strain.

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