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






nation is likely during the unloading and
spawning process.
After 12 hours of heat treatment, the steam is
shut off. As the mass cools, air will be drawn
into the sawdust. The cultivator must take precautions so that contaminants are not
introduced. The best alternative is to design the

inoculation room with a positive-pressurized
HEPA filtration system. Many cultivators use

bags or bottles fitted with a filter—either

plugged cotton or a specially designed filter
disc that prevents the introduction of airborne
contaminants. Often times, one to two days
must pass until the mass naturally falls below
100° F. (38° C.), at which point inoculations
can begin.

Figure 139. Bags of Shiitake mycelia incubating on
sterilized sawdust. Note that bags are narrowly
spaced, but are not touching, which aids in the loss
of heat.

212° F. unless the pressure within the vessel is
raised above 1 psi. I call this method atmospheric sterilization or super-pasteurization.
Most competitor organisms are easily killed

with steam heat, with the exception of some

thermotolerant black pin molds, and endospore-formiflg bacteria. Every microcosm,
every microscopic niche, must be subjected to
250° F. (12 1° C.) for at least 15 minutes to effect true sterilization. When processing tons of
sawdust, true sterilization is rarely achieved. The
cultivator must constantly compromise the ideal

in favor of the practical. To this end, temperature-sensitive indicator strips help the

cultivator determine sterilization profiles. If
sawdust is treated in bulk and not separated into

individual bags, the danger of cross-contami-

Super-pasteurization of supplemented oak
sawdust substrates, although effective, often
results in less total yield than from the same
substrate sterilized. Comparative studies by
Badham (1988) showed that there are no appreciable differences in yields of Shiitake
between supplemented sawdust blocks subjected to high pressure autoclaving vs.
atmospheric steam sterilization for the first
flush. In comparing total yields, however,
more mushrooms can be grown per pound of
sawdust if pressure sterilization is employed.
The greater yield from sterilized sawdust, according to Royse et al. (1985), is not due to the
survival of contaminants, but a function of the
rendering of the sawdust into a form more
readily digestible to the Shiitake mycelium.*

as a substrate base, such as alder, have not found yields
on super-pasteurized sawdust to be depressed compared
to sterilized sawdust. Moreover, the density of the wood
and moisture content are major factors affecting heat
penetration. The addition of buffers, calcium carbonate
and calcium sulfate are recommended for the more
acidic woods. For more information see Badham (1988)

Those using the more rapidly decomposing

and Miller & Jong (1986).

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