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






Pelletized (Granular) Spawn

the norm.
The jars normally grow out in 4-7 days, many
times faster than the traditional transfer technique
And the jars are only shaken once—at the time of
liquid inoculation. With the traditional wedgetransfer technique, each individual jar must be
shaken two or three times to insure full colonization: first at inoculation; second after three days;
and finally at days 5,6 or 7. Remember, not only
is the cultivator gaining efficiency using the liq-

zation process subsequent to inoëulation.
Examples of pelletized spawn range from a

uid inoculation method, but 100 Grain Masters are

varies in size from 1 mm. to 5 mm. in diameter.

created in a week from a few petri dish cultures.
With less need for shaking, hand contact with the
Grain Masters is minimized. Time is conserved.
Probability of contamination is reduced. Growth
is accelerated. With each kernel, dotted with stel-

lar clusters of hyphae from the first day of
inoculation, spawn quality is greatly improved.

As with any method described in this book,
quality controls must be run parallel with each
procedure. A sample of the mycelium-enriched
broth is drop-streaked across the surface of a
few nutrient-agar filled petri dishes. (See Figure 118). These will later reveal whether the

liquid contains one organism—the mycehum—or a polyculture —the mycelium and
contaminants. Furthermore, one or more of the

sterilized grain-filled jars should be left unopened and uninoculated to determine the
success of the sterilization procedure. These
"blank" vessels should not spontaneously contaminate. If they do, then either the sterilization
time/pressure was insufficient or airborne contamination was introduced, independent of the
liquid fermented spawn. If the jars injected with
the fermented mycelium contaminate, and the
uninoculated controls do not, then obviously
the vector of contamination was related to the
act of inoculation, not the cycle of grain steril-

ization. (See Chapter 10: the Six Vectors of

Trends in spawn technology are evolving to-

wards pelletized spawn. Pelletized spawn is
specifically designed to accelerate the coloni-

form resembling rabbit food to pumice-like particles. In either case, they are nutrient-saturated

to encourage a burst of growth upon contact
with mushroom mycelium. Pelletized spawn
Pelletized spawn can be made by adapting
pelletized food mills designed for the manu-

facture of animal feeds. With modest reengineering, these machines can be modified

to produce spawn pellets. Idealized spawn
seeks a balance between surface area, nutritional content, and gas exchange. (See Yang
and Jong 1987; Xiang, 1991; Romaine and
Schlagnhaufer, 1992.)A simple and inexpen-

sive form of pelletized spawn can be made
from vermiculite saturated with a soy proteinbased nutrient broth.
The key to the success of pelletized spawn is

that it enables easy dispersal of mycehium
throughout the substrate, quick recovery from
the concussion of inoculation, and ideally, the

sustained growth of mycelium sufficient to
fully colonize the substrate. Many grains are,
however, pound-for-pound, particle-for-par-

ticle, more nutritious than most forms of
pelletized spawn.
I believe the spawn should be used as the vehicle of supplementation into a semi-selective

substrate. Others subscribe to the school of
thought that the substrate's base nutrition
should be raised to the ideal prior to spawning.

The danger with this approach is that, as the
base nutrition of the substrate is raised, so to is
its receptivity to contaminants. From my expe-

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