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






Three people can inoculate 400-500 bags in one shift by hand.




Lab Manager

Spawn Selector
Primary Inoculator

First Assistant

Bag Labeller
Product Stream Coordinator


Second Assistant

Shaker (1/2 time)
Bag Mover


are recommended over solid shelves.) Once inoculated, the internal temperatures of the bags
soon climb more than 20° F. over the ambient
air temperature of the laboratory. Once the 951000 F. (35-38° C.) temperature threshold is
surpassed, donnant thermophiles spring to life,
threatening the mushroom mycelium's hold on
the substrate. For cultivators in warm climates,

these temperature spirals may be difficult to

Since the risk of contamination is greater

with supplemented sawdust, each step must be
executed with acute attention to detail. The lab
personnel must work as a well-coordinated
team. The slightest failure by any individual
makes the efforts of others useless. The same
general guidelines previously described for the
inoculation of sterilized agar, grain, and saw-

dust media parallel the inoculation steps
necessary for inoculating sawdust bran.
Automatic inoculation machines have been
built in the attempt to eliminate the "human
factor" in causing contamination during inoc-

ulation. I have yet to see a fully automatic
spawning machine that out-performs a highly


skilled crew. When the human factor is removed from this process, a valuable channel of
information is lost. The human factor steers the

course of inoculation and allows quick response to every set of circumstances. Every
unit of spawn is sensed for any sign of impurity
or undesirability. The spawn manager develops
a ken for choosing spawn based as much on in-

tuition, as on appearance, fragrance, and
mycelial integrity.

Inoculations by hand require that either

gloves are worn or that hands are washed frequently. With repetition, manual dexterity skills
develop, and success rates in inoculations improve dramatically. Answering the telephone,
touching your eyes, picking up a scalpel off the
floor, making contact with another person are
causes for immediate remedial action.

Although one person can inoculate the

sawdust bran bags by himself, a well coordi-

nated team of three to four expedites the
process with the shortest intervals of "down
time" and the highest outflow of production.
The process can be further accelerated by premarking bags, pre-shaking spawn, using

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