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






bag resembles those still widely in use by Asian

autoclavable spawn bag featuring a 1 inch fil-

cultivators. (See Figure 115). In 1963 several

ter patch, no more than 3500 grams of dry

similar patents were awarded in London
(#985,763; 1,366,777 and 1,512,050). R.

grain should be used. *

Kitamura and H. Masubagashi recieved a patent
(#4,311,477) for a specialized mushroom culture bag in 1982. *
About a dozen bags are currently available
to mushroom cultivators, some borrowed from

the hospital supply industry. Cellophane deserves re-examination since it is made from
wood cellulose and is completely biodegradable. If problems with seam integrity, tensile
strength, and heat tolerance could be improved,

spawn bags made of this environmentally
friendly material could eliminate the widespread use of throw-away plastics. An
advantage of cellophane-like materials is that
the mushroom mycelium eventually consumes
the very bag in which it has been incubated.
Autoclavable bags are inoculated with Grain
Masters and are Second or Third Generation.
Agar-to-grain inoculation from petri dish cultures to bags is awkward and impractical unless

liquid inoculation techniques are employed.
(These techniques are fully described later on.)
Bags are filled with pre-moistened grain, with
the lips folded closed. Some spawn producers
use spring-activated clothespins, paper clips,
plastic tape, to hold the folds closed. I prefer to

simply press the bags together with flaps
folded. As the bags are sterilized, the contents
exceed the boiling point of water, and gases are
released. If the bags are sealed before loading,
explosions or "blow-outs"—holes where live
steam has vented—are likely.

In the standard 18 x 8 x 5 inch gussetted

941 pressure cooker can process 50 lbs. of
dry rye grain in one run. However, the pressure cooker—with its tightly packed
contents—should be kept at 15+ psi for 4-5
hours to insure even and full sterilization.
If the grain is first boiled or simmered in hot
water before filling, even moisture absorption is
assured. Excess water collecting at the bottom of
the bags often leads to disaster. If this water is reabsorbed back into the media by frequent shaking
orby turning the bags so that the excessively moist
grain is on top, the cultural environment is soon
re-balanced in favor of mycelial growth. Standing water, at any stage in the mushroom cultivation

process, encourages competitors. Many spawn
producers add 20-3 0 grams of calcium sulfate to
the grain, when dry, to help keep the kernels separated after autoclaving.
After sterilization, 2 hours at 15 -18 psi if the

bags are separated or 4-5 hours if the bags are
tightly packed, the bags are removed and allowed to cool in the pure windstream coming
from the laminar flow bench. An alternative is
to allow the grain bags to cool within the pressure vessel, provided it is of the type that holds
a vacuum. The vacuum is then "broken" by allowing clean-room air to be sucked in. If the
pressure cooker does not hold a vacuum, then
it should cool within the sterile laboratory to
preserve sterility. In either case, I place a presterilized cotton towel, soaked in alcohol, over
the vent cock to act as a filter. For equalizing the
pressure in a larger autoclave, air passes directly

through a microporous filter into the vessel's

Other patents, too numerous to list here were also

awarded. Many re-designed the seam, the filtration
media, and/or sometimes the wording to qualify for a
new variation.

* Please

see formulas on page 130. Spawn incubation
bags are available from suppliers listed in Appendix
IV: Resource Directory.

PDF compression, OCR, web-optimization with CVISION's PdfCompressor