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






14. Duration between 1st, 2nd and 3rd
flushes An important feature of any mushroom
strain is the time between "breaks" or flushes.
The shorter the period, the better. Strains characterized by long periods of dormancy between
breaks are more susceptible to exploitation by
insects and molds. By the third flush a cultivator should have harvested 90% of the potential
crop. The sooner these crops can be harvested,
the sooner the growing room can be rotated into

another crop cycle. The rapid cycling of
younger batches poses less risk of contamination.
15. Spore load factors Over the years, the
white Button mushroom, Agaricus brunnescens, has been genetically selected for small
gills, thick flesh, and a short stem. In doing so,
a fat mushroom with a thick veil covering short

gills emerged, a form that greatly extended
shelf life. As a general rule, once spores have
been released in mass, the mushroom soon decomposes. Hence, strains that are not heavy
spore producers at the time of harvest are attrac-

tive to cultivators. Additionally, the massive
release of spores, particularly by Oyster mushrooms, is an environmental hazard to workers

within the growing rooms and is taxing on
equipment. I have seen, on numerous occasions, the spores from Oyster mushrooms
actually clog and stop fans running at several
hundred rpms, ruining their motors.
Another mushroom notorious for its spore
load is Reishi, Ganoderma lucidum. Within the

growing rooms, a rust-colored spore cloud
forms, causing similar, although less severe, al-

lergic reactions to those seen with Oyster
mushrooms. Rather than emitting spores for
just a few days, as with most fleshy mushrooms,

the woody Ganoderma generates spores for
weeks as it slowly develops.
16. Appearance: form; size; and color of

Figure 99. 1 photographed this unsavory package
directly after purchasing it from a major grocery
store chain. Mushrooms in this condition, if eaten,
cause extreme gastro-intestinal discord. This is the
"sajor-caju" variety of Pleurotus pulmonarius, also
known as the Phoenix Oyster mushroom, and has
been a favorite of large scale producers. Subsequent
to harvest, hundreds of primordia soon form on the
decomposing mushrooms.

the harvestable mushrooms Every cultivator

has a responsibility to present a quality
product to the marketplace. Since gourmet
mushrooms are relatively new, national standards have yet to be set in the United States for
distinguishing grades .As gourmet mushrooms
become more common, the public is becoming
increasingly more discriminating.
What a cultivator may lose in yield from
picking young mushrooms is offset by many
benefits.Young mushrooms are more flavorful,
tighter fleshed, often more colorful, and ship
and store longer than older ones. Crop rotation,
with much less associated spore load, is like-

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