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




substantially in flavor. The cultivator needs to
be sensitive to customer feedback. Americans
favor mildly flavored mushrooms whereas the
Japanese are accustomed to more strongly flavored varieties. Pleurotus citrinopileatus, the
Golden Oyster mushroom, is extremely astringent until thoroughly cooked, a good example
that flavor is affected by the length of cooking.
Generally speaking, younger mushrooms are

better-flavored than older ones. The King
Stropharia, Stropharia rugoso-annulata, is a
good example, being exquisitely edible when
young, but quickly losing flavor with maturity.
Shiitake, Lentinula edodes, has many flavor
dimensions. If the cap surface was dry before
picking, or cracked as in the so-called"Donko"
forms, a richer flavor is imparted during cooking. Although the cracking of the cap skin is
environmentally induced, the cultivator can select strains whose cap cuticle easily breaks in
response to fluctuating humidity.


buds. Once paired with the experience of eating, the aroma signature of each species is a call

to arms (or "forks") for mycophagists everywhere. My family begins cooking mushrooms
first when preparing dinner. The aroma undergoes complex transformations as water is lost
and the cells are tenderized. (Please refer to the
recipes in Chapter 24.)
24. Sensitivity to Essential Elements: Minerals and Metals Gray Leatham (1989) was one of
the first researchers to note that nanograms of tin
and nickel were critical to successful fruitbody

formation in Shiitake. Without these minute
amounts of tin and nickel, Shiitake mycelium is
incapable of fruiting. Manganese also seems to

play a determinate role in the mushroom life
cycle. Many other minerals and metals are probably essential to the success of the mushroom life

22. Texture The stage at harvest, the duration

cycle. Since these compounds are abundant in
nature, cultivators need not be concerned about
their addition to wood-based substrates. Only in
the designing of "artificial" wood-free media,

and temperature of cooking, and the condiments with which mushrooms are cooked all

does the cultivator run the risk of creating an environment lacking in these essential compounds.

markedly affect textural qualities. Judging the

25. Ability to Surpass Competitors An

best combination of texture and flavor is a

essential measure of a strain's performance is its

highly subjective experience, often influenced
by cultural traditions. Most connoisseurs pre-

ability to resist competitor fungi, bacteria and
insects. Strains can be directly measured by
their ability to overwhelm competitor molds,
especially Trichoderma, a forest green mold,
which grows on most woods. On thoroughly

fer mushrooms that are slightly crispy and
chewy but not tough. Steamed mushrooms are
usually limp, soft and easily break apart, especially if they have been sliced before cooking.
By tearing the mushrooms into pieces, rather
than cutting, firmness is preserved. These attributes play an important role in the sensual
experience of the mycophagist.
23.Aroma Few experiences arouse as much
interest in eating gourmet mushrooms as their

aroma. When Shiitake and Shimeji are stir-

fried, the rich aroma causes the olfactory
senses to dance, setting the stage for the taste

sterilized substrates, a mushroom strain may run
quickly and without hesitation. Once a competi-

tor is encountered, however, strains vary
substantially in their defensive/offensive abilities. Oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus)
for instance, are now recognized for their nematode-trapping abilities. I have even witnessed
Sciarid flies, attracted to aromatic Oyster mycehum, alighting too long, and becoming stuck to
the aerial mycelium. The degree by which flies

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