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




mushroom culture, selecting a petri dish culture

showing greatest vigor. Ideally, this culture
should be no more than two weeks old, and
there should be a margin of uncolonized media
along the inside peripheral edge. This
uncolonized zone, approximately 1/2 inch (1.
30 cm.) in diameter, can tell the cultivator
whether or not any viable contaminant spores
have recently landed on the media. Once the
mycelium has reached the edge of the petri dish,
any contaminant spores, should they be present,

lie dormant and invisible upon the mushroom
mycelium only to wreak havoc later.
Step 2. Although the contents within maybe

sterilized, the outer surface of the pressure
cooker is likely to be covered with contamiFigure 107. Cutting mycelium from the nutrient
agar medium.

ing a sterilized scalpel. Prior to this activity, the
space where the transfers are to take place has

been aseptically cleaned. The hopeful spawn
maker has showered, washed, and adorned
newly laundered clothes. Immediately prior to
doing any set of inoculations, the cultivator
washes his hands and then wipes them with 80%

rubbing alcohol (isopropanol). If working in
front of a laminar flow hood, the freshest, steril-

ized material is kept upstream, with the
mycelium directly downstream. The cultivator
prioritizes items on the inoculation table by de-

gree and recentness of sterility. The same
attention to movement that was used to inoculate
nutrient-filled petri dishes in Chapter 12 is similarly necessary for successful production of grain
spawn. Attention to detail, being aware of every
minute movement, is again critical to success.

Steps for Generating Grain
Spawn Masters
Step 1. Visually ascertain the purity of a

nants which can be transferred via hand contact.

Therefore, the outside of the pressure cooker
should be thoroughly wiped clean prior to the
sterilization cycle. Open the pressure cookerin
the laboratory clean room. Ideally, the pressure
cooker has formed a vacuum in cooling. If the
pressure cooker in use does not form a vacuum,
outside air will be sucked in, potentially con-

taminating the recently sterilized jars. The
pressure cooker should be placed in the clean
room directly after the sterilization cycle and
allowed to cool therein. (I usually place a paper towel saturated with isopropanol over the
vent valve as an extra precaution, to filter the air

entering the pressure cooker.) Another option
is to open the pressure cooker in front of a laminar flow bench at the moment atmospheric
pressure is re-achieved. Remove the sterilized
grain jars from the pressure cooker. Place the
grain-filled jars upstream nearest to the laminar flow filter. Then sterilize the scalpel by
flaming until red hot.
Step 3. Directly cut into the petri dish culture
(The blade cools instantly on contact.) Drag the
blade across the mycelium-covered agar, creat-

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