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




grams. 4 cups is approximately a liter. Therefore, a single petri dish culture can generate
from 1 to 5 liters of spawn, utilizing the traditional wedge transfer technique. These
techniques are described next.

First Generation
Grain-Spawn Masters
The first time mushroom mycelium is trans-

ferred onto grain, that container of spawn is
called a Grain Master, or G The preferred con-

tainers for incubating Grain Masters are
traditionally small glass jars or bottles, with
narrow mouths to limit contaminant exposure.
Since the Grain Master is used to generate 100
to 1000 times its mass, special attention is given
to its purity. Otherwise, the slightest amount of
contamination is exponentially expanded with
each step, not by a factor of 10, but by a factor

of thousands! Molds have advantages over

Figure 106. Sterilization indicator test strips are
placed into a few grain filled jars to test effectiveness of sterilization cycle. Note the letter "K"
appears when sterilization has been achieved.

mushrooms in that within two to four days every spore can send up hundreds of microscopic

tree-like structures called conidiophores on
whose branches are dozens more mold spores.
(See The Mushroom Cultivator (1983) Chapter
13, pp. 233-317). Mushroom mycelium, on the
other hand, typically expands as a linear exten-

sion of cells. In a jar holding thousands of
kernels of grain, a single kernel of grain contaminated with a mold such as Penicillium,
surrounded by tens of thousands of kernels im-

pregnated with pure mushroom mycelium
makes that entire container of spawn useless for
mushroom culture.
A single 100 x 15 mm. petri dish culture can
inoculate 4-20 cups of sterilized grain. The traFigure 105. Grain-filled 1/2 gallon jars ready for
loading into a commercial autoclave.

ditional transfer method calls for cutting the
mushroom mycelium into wedges or squares us-

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