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




molds belonging to Penicillium, Aspergillus or


duces a blue, cottony mycelium. Many species

not yet cultivated are likely to produce blue

1. White: The color shared by the largest

mycelia. Although the number of species gen-

population of saprophytic mushrooms is white.

erating blue mycelium is few, most of the

Oyster (Pleurotus spp.), Shiitake (Lentinula

psilocybian mushrooms are characterized by

edodes), Hen-of-the-Woods (Grifolafrondosa),
the King Stropharia (Stivpharia rugoso-annulata)

mycelium which bruises bluish when damaged.
Beyond these examples, blue tones are highly
unusual and warrant examination through a micro scope to ascertain the absence of competitor
organisms, particularly the blue-greenPenicil-

and most Magic Mushrooms (Psilocybes) all have

whitish colored mycelium. Some imperfect
fungi, like Monilia, however, also produce a
whitish mycelium. (See The Mushroom Cultivator, Stamets and Chilton 1983.)
2. Yellow/Orange/Pink: Nameko (Pholiota
nameko) produces a white mycelial mat which
soon yellows. Oyster mushrooms, particularly

hum molds. Although unusual, I have seen

Pleumtus ostreatus, exude a yellowish to orangish
metabolite overtime. These metabolites are some-

mycelium. Some Morel strains cause the malt
extract medium to blacken, especially when the
petri dish culture is viewed from underneath.
The parasitic Honey Mushroom, Armihlaria
mehlea, forms uniquely black rhizomorphs. A
pan-tropical Oyster mushroom, called
Pleurotus cystidiosus, and its close relatives P.
abalonus andP smithii, have white mycelia that
become speckled with black droplets. (See Figure92.).
6. Multicolored: Mycelia can be zonate, with
multicolored tones in concentric circles around
the zone of transfer. The concentric circles of
growth are usually diurnal, reflecting rates of
growth dictated by the passage of day to night.
All of the species described in the past 5 categories undergo unique color changes. This
sequence of color transformation defines the
unique "personality" of each strain. I have yet
to see a mycelium of greater beauty than that of
the extraordinary Psilocybe mexicana, the sacramentalTeonanacatl of Mexico. Its mycelium
is initially white, then yellow, golden, brown
and sometimes streaked through with bluish
tones. (See Color Plate 2, opposite page 176 in

times seen as droplets on the surface of the
mycelium or as excessive liquid collecting at the
bottom of the spawn containers. Strains of Reishi,
Ganoderma lucidum , vary considerably in their
appearance, most often projecting a white mycelium which, as it matures, becomes yellow as the
agar medium is colonized. A pink Oyster mush-

room, Pleurotus djamor, and Lion's Mane,
Hericium erinaceus, both have mycelium that is
initially white and, as the cultures age, develop

strong pinkish tones. Chicken-of-the-woods
(Polyporus orLaetiporussulphureus) has an over-

all orangish mycelium. Kuritake (Hypholoma
sublateritium) has mycelium that is white at first
and in age can become dingy yellow-brown.

3. Brown: Some mushroom species, especially Shiitake, becomes brown over time. It
would be abnormal for Shiitake mycelium not
to brown in age or when damaged. Similarly,
Agrocybe aegerita produces an initially white
mycelium that browns with maturity. Morel
mycelium is typically brown after a week of
4. Blue: Lepista nuda, theWood Blewit, pro-

cultures of an Oyster mushroom, P. ostreatus
var. columbinus, which produces whitish mycelium streaked with bluish tones.

5. Black: Few mushrooms produce black

The Mushroom Cultivator by Stamets and

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