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




spawn each time. Precise measurement is de-

sirable but not absolutely critical with this
suggested rate of expansion. However, as one
becomes more experienced, inoculation rates
achieve a high degree of regularity.
Step 4. Once inoculated, the lids are tightened securely. Each jar is then shaken to evenly

disperse the Grain Master spawn kernels
through the sterilized grain.Thorough shaking

encourages fast grow-out. As the jars are
shaken, note the rotation of the myceliated grain
kernels throughout the jar.

Figure 111. Grain inoculated with mycelium but
contaminated with bacteria. Note greasy appearance of grain kernels. Bacterially contaminated
grain emits a distinct, unpleasant odor.

hand! Be careful! (This author, at the time of
this writing, is recovering from a sliced wrist after a brisk visit to the hospital emergency room,
caused by a glassjar shattering on his palm dur-

ing shaking, requiring multiple stitches.)

Step 5. Set the Second Generation Spawn
jars upon a shelf or rack in a room maintained
at 75° F. (24° C.). The jars should be spaced at
least 1/2 inch apart. Closely packed jars selfheat and encourage contamination. I prefer that
jars incubate at an incline, allowing for more
Step 6. After 3-4 days, each jar is shaken
again. As before, the grain can be loosened by
striking the jars against a rubber tire or similar
surface. Grasping each jar firmly, accelerate
each jar downwards in a spiral, pulling back at

the end of each movement. This technique
sends the top grain kernels deep into the bottom
recesses of the jar, in effect rotating and mixing the grain mass.

Step 3. Once the Grain Master has been

Step 7. In 7-10 days, re-inspect each jar to

shaken, loosen the lids of the jars which will re-

determine even dispersal of growth sites. Should
some jars show regions of growth and no-growth,
another shaking is in order. Those showing good

ceive the spawn. Remove the lid of the Grain
Master and set it aside. With your favored hand,
move the grain master upstream to the first jar,
hovering inches above it. With your other hand,
remove the lid, and hold it in the air. By tilting
downwards and rotating the Grain Master, kernels of spawn fall into the awaiting jar. Replace
the lid of the jar just inoculated and continue to
the next. By the time the tenth jar is inoculated,
the spawn jar should be empty. Repeated trans-

fers eventually lead to an even dispersal of

dispersion need not be disturbed. Here the discretion of the cultivator plays an important role.
If any unusual pungent odors are noticed, or if
the grain appears greasy, contamination may be
present although not yet clearly visible.
Step 8.By day 14, all the jars should be thoroughly colonized by mycelium. With Oyster,
Shiitake, Enokitake, Reishi, King Stropharia,
the mycelium has a grayish-white appearance

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