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






Figure 135. Commercial double door steam sterilizer.

contamination. If too much water is added, exceeding the carrying capacity of the media, the
excess collects at the bottoms of the bags, discouraging mycelium and stimulating bacterial
blooms and anaerobic activities. Ideally, sawdust is wetted to 60-65% water. If the wetted
mix can be squeezed with force by hand and
water droplets fall out as a stream, then the mix
is probably too wet.
The easiest way to determine moisture con-

tent is by gathering a wet sample of the
mixture, weighing it, and then drying the same
sample in an oven for 1 hour at 3500 F. (1800
C.) or in a microwave for 10-15 minutes. If, for
instance, your sample weighed 100 grams be-

fore drying, and only 40 grams after drying,
then obviously 60 grams of water were lost.
The moisture content was 60%.

Once the person making the substrate obtains experience with making up a properly

balanced substrate, moisture content can be
fairly accurately determined by touch. Materials are measured volumetrically, correlated to
weights, for ease of handling. This insures that

the mixing proceeds with speed and without
unnecessary interruption.

Choosing a Sterilizer, a.k.a
the Retort or Autoclave
Although home-style pressure cookers are
ideal for sterilizing agar media and for small-

to-medium batches of grain, they have
insufficient capacity for the sterilization of
bulk substrates. The problems faced by the
mushroom cultivator in Thailand or the United
States are the essentially the same. In developing countries, the sterilizer is often a
make-shift, vertical drum, heated by fire or gas.
A heavy lid is placed on top to keep the contents contained. The boiling of water generates

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