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






Mushrooms have never ceased to amaze me. The more I study them, the more I realize how little I
have known, and how much more there is to learn. For thousands of years, fungi have evoked a host of
responses from people—from fear and loathing to reverent adulation. And I am no exception.

When I was a little boy, wild mushrooms were looked upon with foreboding. It was not as if
my parents were afraid of them, but our Irish heritage lacked a tradition of teaching children
anything nice about mushrooms. In this peculiar climate of ignorance, rains fell and mushrooms
magically sprang forth, wilted in the sun, rotted and vanished without a trace. Given the scare
stories told about "experts" dying after eating wild mushrooms, my family gave me the best
advice they could: Stay away from all mushrooms, except those bought in the store. Naturally
rebellious, I took this admonition as a challenge, a call to arms, firing up an already overactive imagination in a boy hungry for excitement.
When we were 7, my twin brother and I made a startling mycological discovery—Puff balls! We were
told that they were not poisonous, but if the spores got into your eyes, you would be instantly blinded!
This information was quickly put to good use. We would viciously assault each other with mature puffballs which would burst upon impact and emit a cloud of brown spores. The battle would continue until
all the pufthalls in sight had been hurled. They provided us with hours of delight over the years. Neither one of us ever went blind—although we both suffer from very poor eyesight.You must realize that
to a 7 year-old these free, ready-made missiles satisfied instincts for warfare on the most primal of levels. This is my earliest memory of mushrooms, and to this day I consider it to be a positive emotional
experience. (Although I admit a psychiatrist might like to explore these feelings in greater detail.)
Not until I became a teenager did my hunter-gatherer instincts resurface, when a relative returned
from extensive travels in SouthAmerica.With a twinkle in his eyes, he spoke of his experiences with

the sacred Psilocybe mushrooms. I immediately set out to find these species, not in the jungles of
Colombia, but in fields and forests of Washington State where they were rumored to grow. For the
first several years, my searches provided me with an abundance of excellent edible species, but no
Psilocybes. Nevertheless, I was hooked.
When hiking through the mountains, I encountered so many mushrooms. They were a mystery
until I could match them with descriptions in a field guide. I soon came to learn that a mushroom
was described as"edible," "poisonous," or my favorite: "unknown," based on the experiences of others
like me, who boldly ingested them. People are rarely neutral in their opinion about mushrooms—
either they love them or they hate them. I took delight in striking fear into the hearts of the latter group
whose illogical distrust of fungi provoked my over-active imagination.

When I enrolled in the Evergreen State College in 1975, my skills at mushroom identification
earned the support of a professor with similar interests. My initial interest was taxonomy, and I soon
focused on fungal microscopy. The scanning electron microscope revealed new worlds, dimensional
landscapes I never dreamed possible. As my interest grew, the need for fresh material year-round

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