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






wise accelerated through the harvest of adolescent forms. Diseases are less likely and
consistency of production is better assured.
One general feature is common to all mushrooms in determining the best stage for picking:
the cap margin. Cap margins reveal much about
future growth. At the youngest stages, the cap
margin is incurved, soon becoming decurved, and
eventually flattening at maturity. In my opinion,
the ideal stage for harvest is midway between
incurved and decurved. During this period, spore
release is well below peak production. Since the
gills are protected by both the curvature of the
whole mushroom as well as adorning veil remnants (as in Shiitake), the mushrooms are not
nearly as vulnerable to damage. For more information, please consult Chapter 23.

17. Duration from storage to spoilage:
Preservation An important aspect of evaluating
any strain is its ability to store well. Spoilage

is accelerated by bacteria which thrive under
high-moisture stagnant air conditions. A delicate balance must be struck between
temperature, air movement, and moisture to
best prolong the storage of mushrooms.
Some species and strains are more resistant
to spoilage than others. Shiitake mushrooms
store and ship far better, on the average, than
Oyster mushrooms. Some Oyster mushrooms,

especially the slow-forming cold weather
strains, survive under cold storage longer than

the warm weather varieties. In either case,
should spores be released and germinate, bacterial infection quickly sets in.
18. Abatement of growth subsequent to
harvest Yet another feature determining preservation is whether or not the mushrooms stop
growing after picking. Many mushrooms continue to enlarge, flatten out, and produce spores
long after they have been harvested. This is especially distressing for a cultivator picking a

perfect-looking young specimen one day only
to find it transformed into a mature adult the
next day. This continued growth often places
growers and distant distributors into opposing

viewpoints concerning the quality of the
product. Strains of Pleurotuspulmonarius, especially the so-called"Pleurotus sajor-caju" is
one such example. I like to describe this strain
of Oyster mushrooms as being "biologicallyout-of control." (See Figure 99.)
19. Necrosis factors and the protection of
dead tissue from competitors After a mushroom has been picked, tissue remnants become
sites for attack by predator insects and parasitic
molds. Some species, Shiitake for instance,
have a woodier stem than cap. When Shiitake
is harvested by cutting at the base of the stem,
the stem butt, still attached to the wood substrate, browns and hardens. AS the stem butt
dies, a protective skin forms. This ability to
form a tough outer coat of cells protects not only
the left-over stem remnant from infestation, but

also prevents deep penetration by predators.
Since most Pleurotus ostreatus strains are not
graced with this defense, extreme caution must

be observed during harvest so no dead tissue
remains. The "sajor-caju" variety of Pleurotus
pulmonarius is surprising in its ability to reabsorb dead tissue, even forming new
mushrooms on the dead body remnants of previously harvested mushrooms.
20. Genetic stability/instability Since all
strains eventually senesce, genetic stability is
of paramount concern to every cultivator. Signs

of a strain dying are its inability to colonize a

substrate, produce primordia, or develop
healthy mushrooms.Typical warning signs are
a delay in fruiting schedules and an increasing
susceptibility to disease. These symptoms are
afew of many which suggest strain senescence.
21.Flavor Strains of the same species differ

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