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






the bags form into a cube. Should excess water
become visible, collecting at the bottom of the
bags, then less water is added at make-up. For-

tunately, mycelium tolerates a fairly broad
range of moisture content for the production of
sawdust spawn.
Some spawn producers secure the open flaps
of the bags with plastic tape, spring-activated

clothes pins, even paper clips. To meet this
named Dr. S toiler
need, a
invented a specialized collar, filter, and lid combination which is still in use today. If the bags
are carefully handled, however, many cultivators simply press adjacent bags tightly together,

negating the need for fasteners. The bags are
loaded into an autoclave or pressure cooker and
sterilized for 2-3 hours at 15 psi. Upon return
to atmospheric pressure and following the same
procedures outlined for cycling grain spawn,
the bags are removed from the pressure vessel

directly into the clean room.
Each gallon (4 liter) of grain spawn can ef-

fectively inoculate ten 5 lb. bags of moist
sawdust spawn. Exceeding 20 bags of sawdust
inoculated per gallon of grain spawn is not recommended. Strict adherence to the sterile

techniques previously outlined in this book
must be followed during the inoculation process. I recommend washing your hands
periodically with anti-bacterial soap (every 30

minutes) and frequently wiping them with
isopropanol alcohol (every 10 minutes). Once
inoculations are completed, those with delicate
skin should use a moisturizer to prevent damage from disinfectants.

Step-by-Step Instructions for
Inoculating Sawdust
1. Choosing the grain spawn. Grain spawn
should be selected from the laboratory inventory. Ideally, spawn should be 1-3 weeks of age,

at most 4 weeks. Carefully scrutinize the filter

disc zone, inside and outside, to discern the
presence of any molds or unusual signs of
growth. Only cottony spawn, void of wet spots
or areas of no-colonization, should be chosen.
Since the spawn generally chosen is Second or
Third Generation, bag spawn is preferred for
this stage. The grain kernels of each spawn jar
are loosened by shaking the bag or slamming
the jar against a cleaned rubber tire or similar

2. Retrieving the bags from the autoclave.
Bags of sawdust, having been removed directly
from the autoclave, cool to room temperature
by being placed in the windstream of a laminar
flow hood. Once the bags are below 100°F. (38°
C.) inoculations can proceed.
3. Opening the bags. The bags are opened
by pulling the outside plastic panels outwards
from the outside. The inoculator's hands never
touch the interior surfaces. If they do, contamination is likely. Once ten bags have been fully

opened, the inoculator wipes his hands with
isopropanol and brings a gallon of grain spawn
to the table directly downstream from the newly
opened bags. The jar lid is loosened to a point
where it can be lifted off easily with one hand.

4. Inoculating the bags in a specific sequence. If using jar spawn, remove the lid and
place it upside down, upstream and away from
the bags to be inoculated. Since you may wish
to return the lid to the spawn jar should all its
contents not be used, pay attention to the manner in which it is handled. Grasping the spawn
jar with one hand, palm facing up, position the
jar opening above the first bag to be inoculated.
If you are right handed, inoculate each sawdust
bag in sequence going from left to right. (Left
handers would logically do this in the reverse.)
With a roll of the wrist, angle the jar so that grain
spawn free-falls into the opened bag. The spawn

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