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




duce odors which humans can recognize elsewhere in our life experiences. Some
mushrooms smell like radishes, some like apricots, and even some like bubble gum! Is there
any significance to these odors? Or is it just a
fluke of nature?

The Event of Volunteer
Primordia on Nutrified
Agar Media
The voluntary and spontaneous formation of

miniature mushrooms in a petri dish is a delightful experience for all cultivators. In this
chapter, attention and insights are given for
many species. By no means is this knowledge
static. Every cultivator contributes to the body
of knowledge each time a mushroom is cultured
and studied.
The cultivator plays an active role in devel-

oping strains by physically selecting those
which look "good". Integral to the success of
the Mushroom Life Cycle is the mycelial path
leading to primordia formation. To this end, the

mushroom and the cultivator share common
interests.The occurrence of primordia not only
is a welcome affirmation of the strain's identity
but is also indicative of its readiness to fruit.
Hence, I tend to favor strains which voluntarily form primordia.
Two approaches lead to primordia formation
from cultured mycelium. The first is to devise
a standard media, a background against which
all strains and species can be compared. After
performance standards are ascertained, the second approach is to alter the media, specifically


improving and designing its composition for
the species selected. As a group, those strains
needing bacteria to fruit do not form primordia
on sterile media.
Several mushroom species have mycelial
networks which, when they are disturbed at primordia formation, result in a quantum leap in
the vigor of growth and in the number of subsequently forming primordia. With most strains
however, the damaged primordia revert to vegetative growth.The following list of species are
those that produce volunteer primordia on 2%
enriched malt extract agar, supplemented with
.2% yeast and .005% gentamycin sulfate. *The

formation of primordia on this medium is of-

ten strain specific. Those species in bold
lettering are known by this author to benefit

from the timely disturbance of primordia.
Those which do benefit from disturbance are
excellent candidates for liquid inoculation techniques.

Agrocybe aegerita
Flammulina velutipes
Ganoderma lucidum

Hericium erinaceus
Hypsizygus tessulatus
Hypsizygus ulmarius
Lentinula edodes
Pholiota nameko
Pleurotus citrinopileatus
Pleurotus djamor complex
Pleurotus euosmus

Pleurotus ostreatus
Pleurotus djamor
Pleurotus pulmonarius

* 1/20 of

a gram of gentamycin sulfate per liter of media sufficiently inhibits bacteria to a containable level.

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