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




interior. (See Figure 137.)
Once the bags are cooled, they are unfolded
by hand, being careful to only touch the outer

surfaces of the plastic. A jar of spawn is selected, shaken and opened. Using a roll-of-the
wrist motion, spawn free-falls into each bag at
a recommended rate of 1:10 to 1 :40.The bag is
then laid down so as to open into the airstream.
The top 2 inches of the bag is positioned over
the element of a clean heat sealer and expanded
open, again by only touching the outer surfaces
of the plastic. The clean air coming from the

1. In the limited space of a sterilizer, more
grain can be treated using bags than jars.
2. Bags, if they break, are not dangerous. Being cut by glass jars is one of the occupational
hazards of spawn producers.
3. Since the bags are pliable, spawn can be
more easily broken up into individual kernels
and distributed into the next substrate. The process of spawning is simply easier.

Liquid Inoculation
A rain storm is a form of liquid inoculation.

laminar flow filter inflates the bag. I gently
press on the sides which further inflates them
before sealing. The top arm of the sealer is

The earliest fungophile, unwittingly or not,

brought forcibly down, often times two or three

mushrooms are eaten, cooked or washed,

times in rapid succession, pausing briefly to

spores are disseminated in liquid form. Nature's
model can be modified for use within the laboratory. Currently several strategies incorporate
liquid inoculation methods. The advantages of
liquid inoculation are the speed of colonization,
the purity of spawn, and the ease of handling.

allow the plastic seam to re-solidify. Each bag
is squeezed to determine whether the seam is
complete and to detect leaks. (Often, pin-hole
leaks can be detected at this stage. Having a roll
of plastic packing tape, 3-4 inches wide, hand-

ily solves this problem by simply taping over
the puncture site.)
If the bags hold their seal with no leaks, the
spawn should be mixed through by shaking

each bag. This cultivator strives to capture
enough air within each bag so that when they
are sealed, each bags appears inflated. Inflated
bags are much easier to shake and support bet-

ter mycelial growth than those without a
substantial air plenum. (See Figures 125—129.)
Spawn bags should be set on a shelf, spaced
1/2 inch or more from each other to counter-act
heat generation.After four days, each bag should
be carefully inspected, laid on a table surface, and
rotated to disperse the colonies of mycelium. In
another week, a second shake may be necessary
to ensure full and even colonization.
The advantages of using bags for processing
grain spawn are:

used liquid inoculation techniques. Every time

Spore Mass Inoculation
The ultimate shortcut for culturing mushrooms is via spore mass/liquid inoculation
directly into bulk substrates. Primarily used in
China, this technique works well with Oyster
and Shiitake mushrooms, but is also applicable
to all the mushroom species discussed in this
book. In effect this process parallels the technology of the brewery industry in the cultivation
of yeasts, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and allies.
Large fermentation vessels are filled with sugar
broth, inoculated with pure spores and incubated and aerated via air compressors.

Spore mass inoculation of sterilized substrates is limited to those species which form
mushrooms under totally sterile conditions.
(Spores collected from wildly picked mushrooms have too many contaminants.) Those

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