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






Gate Valve

Swing Gauge

Micron Filter

Air from

Breaking the vacuum to equalize
pressure in the autoclave without
introducing contamination.
Figure 137. A microporous filter canister is attached to a pipe equipped with a gate valve which in turn is
connected to a one-way check valve leading directly into the autoclave. Located on the clean-room side, this design
allows pressure to be equalized in the autoclave after the sterilization cycle without introducing contaminants.

posing the needs of production and the dangers
of uneven sterilization due to heavy loading.
Packing an autoclave deeper than 4 bags (32
inches deep) runs other contradictory risks. In
the attempt to achieve full colonization, sterilization time is typically extended, potentially

causing other problems: over-sterilization of
the outer zones and bag-fatigue. Over-sterilization usually occurs when wood substrates are

subjected to steam pressure (15-18 psi) for
more than five hours. The sawdust takes on a

volatile oils, and toxic by-products are responsible for this radical shift in sawdust's
myco-receptivity. In the end, the substrate is

rendered entirely inhospitable to mushroom
After the autoclave has been packed, the displacement of the cold air by introducing steam
and top-venting is absolutely critical. The cold

air, if not vented, gives a false temperature!
pressure reading. At 15 psi, the temperature
within the autoclave should be 252° F. (12 1°

signature and, most importantly, resists decomposition by mushroom mycelium.
Prolonged steam sterilization results in complex chemical transformations. (I have yet to
find a chemist who can adequately explain

C.). This arithmetic relationship between temperature and pressure is known as Boyle's Law.
When a cold mass is introduced into an autoclave or pressure cooker, Boyle's Law does not
come into play until the thermal inertia of the
affected mass is overcome. In other words, as

what happens from prolonged exposure). Suf-

hot steam is being forcibly injected into the

flee it to say that turpentines, changes in

vessel, there is a lag time as the heat is absorbed

dark brown color, has a distinctly different odor

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