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




becomes its own universe, hosting thousands of

star-shaped, three dimensional colonies of
mycelium. This is the stage idealfor inoculation
into sterilized substrates, especially in the gen-

eration of grain spawn masters. (See Figure
120). Far more bioactive than the same myce-

hum transferred from the two-dimensional
surface of a petri dish, each hyphal cluster
grows at an accelerated rate subsequent to transfer to the grain media.
If, however, the liquid media is not used at its
peak rate of growth, and stirs for nearly a week,

the colonies lose their independence and coalesce into a clearly visible contiguous mycelial
mat. Long mycelial colonies adhere to the inter-

face of the fluid surface and the inside of the
flask. Chains of mycelium collect downstream
from the direction of rotation. Soon after their
Figure 122. Inoculating mycelium into an Eberbach
holding sterilized water.

any contaminated surface. Each Erlenmeyer is
placed on stir plates or on a shaker table and
rotated at 100-200 rpm. for 48-72 hours. The
water broth is continuously stirred to allow tran-

spiration of metabolic gases and oxygen
absorption. The fluid has a milky-brown color
and is not translucent. Settling of the heavier
components is clearly visible when the stirring
process is interrupted.
Upon completion, 3000 milliliters of mycelium are rendered in liquid form. The hyphae,
recovering from the damage of being cut by the
spinning blades of the blender, are stimulated
into vigorous re-growthAt a point several cells
away from the cut ends, nodes form on the cell
walls, new buds push out, and branch. A vast,
interconnected fabric of cells, a mycelial network, forms. The branches fork continuously.
After two to four days of re-growth in the nutri-

ent enriched broth, each Erlenmeyer flask

appearance, often overnight, the media becomes
translucent and takes on a rich amber color. A
large glob of mycelium collects on the surface
and can be mechanically retrieved with a pair of
tweezers, forceps, or scalpel, if desired. The re-

maining clear amber fluid contains super-fine
satellite colonies and hyphal fragments. Bypass-

ing the fluid through a microporous filter, the
mycelium can be recaptured. This technique is
especially attractive for those whose goal is run-

ning tests on small batches of myceium. With
many species I have grown, the conversion ratio

of sugar/wood to mycehium (dry weight) approaches 20%. This percentage of conversion is

nearly 80% biological efficiency, considered
good in the commercial cultivation of gourmet
Step 6 Each of the three Erlenmeyer flasks
now contains 1000 ml. of nutrient, myceliumrich broth.At 30 ml. per transfer, 100 1/2 gallon
(2 liter) grain-filled jars can be inoculated. Here

too, a pipette, back-filled syringe, burette, or
pump can be used. I prefer "free-pouring" 30

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