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






moistened to 60-65%. This formula makes 160-

180 bags weighing 5.5 lbs. Directly after
make-up the bags are loaded into the autoclave

for sterilization. Should the mixture sit for

more than a few hours, fermentation reactions
begin. Once bacteria and molds flourish, the
mixture is rendered unsuitable.
If alder is unavailable, I strongly encourage
substituting other rapidly decomposing hardwoods, such as cottonwood, poplar, willow,
sweetgum, and similar wood types from riparian ecosystems.Although oak is the wood most

widely used in the cultivation of Shiitake,

Maitake, and Enokitake, its inherent, slower
rate of decomposition sets back fruiting sched-

ules compared to the above mentioned

hardwoods. Sycamore, mahogany, ironwood,
the fruit trees, and other denser woods require a

longer gestation period, although subsequent
fruitings may benefit from the increased wood
density. * Here, a little experimentation on the
part of the cultivator could have far-reaching,

profound results. Mini-trials matching the
strain with the wood type must be conducted
before expanding into commercial cultivation.
By laying out the sawdust first in a 10 x 10

foot square, the chips can be thrown evenly
upon the sawdust, and topped by broadcasting

rice bran evenly over the top. This mass is
mixed thoroughly together by whatever means
available (flat shovel, cement or soil mixer,
tractor). A mixer of less than a cubic yard in capacity is probably not more efficient than one
person mixing these three ingredients by hand
with a shovel. Pockets of discoloration, mold,
or "clumps" should be avoided during the making up of this composition. The more
competitors at make-up mean the more that are
likely to survive the "sterilization" cycle.
Mixing the above components by hand becomes functionally impractical beyond 300
bags per day. At this level of production and
above, automated mixing machines and bag
fillers, adapted from the packaging and nursery
industry, are far more efficient in terms of both
time and, in most cases, money invested.

Testing For
Moisture Content
Wetting the substrate to its proper moisture
content is critical to creating a habitat that en-

courages mycelial growth while retarding

Figure 134. The mixture featured in Figures 130-133
created 180 6 lb. bags of the fruiting formula. Once
mixed and wetted, this mixture must be immediately
loaded into the autoclave and sterilized.

If speed of production is not the over-riding issue, then

many of these denser hardwoods, such as the oaks,
may produce better-quality fruitings over the long
term than those from the rapidly decomposing
hardwoods. However, I have found Enokitake, Oyster,
Reishi, Lion's Mane and Shiitake to give rise to faster
fruitings of equally superior quality on alder, poplar

and cottonwood.

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