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






gering fruiting, the mycelium remains in stasis,
what cultivators term "over-vegetation."
Volvariella volvacea, the Paddy Straw Mushroom, will not produce below 75° F. (24° C.) and
in fact, most strains of this species die if temperatures drop below 45°F. (7.2° C.). Pleurotus
pulinonarius, a rapidly growing Oyster species,
thrives between 75-85°F. (24-29°C.) and is not
prevented from fruiting until temperatures drop
below 45° F. (7° C.). With most temperaturetolerant strains, higher temperatures cause the
mushrooms to develop more quickly. Another
example is Pleurotus citrinopileatus, the
Golden Oyster, which fruits when temperatures
exceed 65°F. (18° C.).
10. Number and distribution of primordial sites For every cultivator, the time before
and during primordia formation is one of high
anxiety, expectation and hope. The change-over
from vegetative colonization to this earliest pe-

Mushroom cultivators who grow Oyster mushrooms in plastic columns or bags desire strains

riod of mushroom formation is perhaps the

strains form abundant primordia; others seem

most critical period in the mushroom life cycle.
With proper environmental stimulation, the cul-

tivator aids the mushroom organism in its
attempt to generate abundant numbers of pri-

mordia. Aside from the influences of the
environment and the host substrate, a strain's
ability to produce primordia is a genetically
determined trait. Ideally, a good strain is one
that produces a population of numerous, evenly
distributed primordia within a short time frame.
11. Site-specific response to low carbon
dioxide levels As the mycelium digests a substrate, massive amounts of carbon dioxide are
produced, stimulating mycelial growth but preventing mushroom formation.The pronounced
reaction of mycelium to generate primordia in
response to lowering carbon dioxide gives the

cultivator a powerful tool in scheduling
fruitings. Strains vary in their degree of sensitivity to fluctuations in carbon dioxide.

that produce primordia exactly where holes
have been punched. The holes in the plastic
become the ports for the exodus of carbon dioxide. At these sites, the mycelium senses the
availability of oxygen, and forms primordia.
This response is very much analogous to the
mushroom mycelium coming to the surface of
soil or wood, away from the CO2 rich environment from within, to the oxygenated
atmosphere of the outdoors, where a mushroom
can safely propel spores into the wind currents
for dispersal to distant ecological niches. With
strains super-sensitive to carbon dioxide levels,
the cultivator can take advantage of this site-

specific response for controlled cropping,
greatly facilitating the harvest.

12. Number of primordia forming vs.
those maturing to an edible size. Some
impotent Those which produce numerous
pri-mordia can be further evaluated by the
percentage of those forming compared to those
developing to a harvestable stage. Ideally, 90%

of the primordia mature. Poor strains can be
described as those which produce primordial
populations where 50% or more fail to grow to
maturity under ideal conditions. Aborted pri-

mordia become sites of contamination by
molds, bacteria and even flies.

13. Number of viable primordia survivingfor 2nd and 3rd flushes Some strains of
Oyster and Button mushrooms, especially cold-

weather varieties, form the majority of
primordia during the first initiation strategy.
Many primordia lay dormant, yet viable, for
weeks, before development.After the first flush
of mushrooms matures and is harvested, the
resting primordia develop for the second and
subsequent flushes.

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