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




ing material cleaner, but this second technique
causes the grains to have an uneven moisture
content. The reader must decide which is most
suitable. Neither method, in my opinion, merits endorsement over the other.
With excess water, grain kernels explode, exposing the nutrients within, and making them
more susceptible to contamination. Exploded
grain kernels also cause clumping and sites of
depressed gas exchange, environments wherein

bacteria proliferate. The shape of the intact
grain kernel, with its protective outer surface,
selectively favors the filamentous mushroom
mycelium and produces a spawn that separates
readily upon shaking.

Suitable Containers for Incubating
Grain Spawn:
Figure 101. One memod for preparing grain spawn
is to simply pour dry grain into glass jars, add wa-

ter, allow to sit overnight, and then sterilize.
Advantages of this method are: one-step process;
less fuel consumption; and less handling. One disadvantage is uneven water absorption.

filter disc. By allowing the grain to soakfor 12-

24 hours, the heat resistant endospores of
bacteria germinate and become sensitive to
heat sterilization. Before use, the filter discs
should be soaked in a weak (5%) bleach solu-

tion to dislodge and disinfect any imbedded
contaminants.The next day, the jars are shaken
by striking them against a rubber tire, or similar surface, to mix together the more moist and

drier grain kernels. Once shaken, they are
promptly placed into the sterilizer. The advan-

tage of this method is that it is a one-step
procedure. A case can be made that starches and
other nutrients are preserved with this method
since the water is not discarded. Proponents of
the first method argue that not only is their start-

16 fi. oz. mineral spring water bottles,
quart mason jars, liter bottles
½ gallon jars
1 gallon jars
2 ½ gallon jars
Polypropylene plastic bags

Formulas for Creating
Grain Spawn
Moisture content plays a critical role in the
successful colonization by mushroom mycehum of sterilized grain. If the grain is too dry,
growth is retarded, with the mycelium forming
fine threads and growing slowly. Should too
much water be added to the grain, the grain
clumps, and dense, slow growth occurs. Higher

moisture contents also encourage bacterial
blooms. Without proper moisture content,
spawn production is hampered, even though all
other techniques may be perfect.
The optimum moisture for grain spawn falls
within 45-55%, with an ideal around 50%. To

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