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




agitators to evenly disperse the spawn, gravity
or belt conveyors, etc.

Steps and Duties for the Personnel
Inoculating Supplemented Sawdust
Before proceeding, the lab must be thoroughly cleaned after the autoclave is emptied.
The enriched sawdust blocks are positioned in

front of the laminar flow bench. Additional
blocks are stacked on movable, push carts
which can be quickly moved and unloaded in
and out of the inoculation area. The laboratory
personnel have prepared the inoculation site by
supplying alcohol squirt bottles, paper towels,
garbage bags, marking pens, and drinking water. If only a two-person lab crew is available,
the duties of the Lab Manager and the First Assistant are often combined.

Step I


Step H
Lab Manager
The Lab Manager holds a bag of sawdust
spawn and, using a pair of aseptically cleaned
scissors cuts at a 45 degree upward angle towards the opposite corner, cutting across the
previous seal. (See Figure 140). This results in

a "spout," facilitating the transfer of spawn
from one bag to another. By holding a bottom
corner with one hand, and raising the bag with
the other hand, grasping above the newly created spout, the transferring of spawn from one
bag to another container is simple and fast. (If
inoculating supplemented sawdust with grain

spawn, follow the techniques described on
page 156 for Inoculating Sterilized Sawdust).
As the inoculations progress, care is taken not
to touch the inside walls of the bags with your
hands. The bags can be pulled apart by grasping

Lab Manager

the outside plastic, expanding the opening, so that

Select pure spawn. Avoid any units of spawn

sawdust spawn can be received without hin-

showing the slightest disparity in growth. Be
suspicious of spawn units adjacent to partially

contaminated ones. Usually contamination
outbreaks run through a series of consecutive
inoculations, to greater and lesser degrees. Individual units of spawn that look pure but are
neighbors to contaminated units should only be
used as a last recourse. Shake the spawn, thoroughly breaking it up into its finest particles.

Place the spawn immediately downstream

drance. At times the First Assistant may be called
upon to make sure the bags are fully opened.

First Assistant

The First Assistant closes the bags on the
pre-cleaned thermal bag sealer on the uppermost, opened portion. The sealer is activated
(depending on type) and the panels of plastic
meld together, capturing a volume of air in the
process. Ideally, a "domed" bag can be created.
(See Figure 125 and 129). Sometimes, multiple

from the bag sealer. Wipe your hands with 80%
isopropanol (rubbing alcohol).
First Assistant
The FirstAssistant works with the Lab Manager in shaking the spawn, readying it for use.
Second Assistant
The Second Assistant positions the bags and

seals are necessary before full closure is

begins pre-labelling. If using more than one
strain or species, pre-labelling must be done

bag has been sealed. By gently squeezing,

carefully, lest confusion between strains occur.

Second Assistant

As soon as the bag has been hermetically
sealed, it is removed from the position behind
the sealer and passed to the Second Assistant.
The Second Assistant first determines if the
leaks are detected by either the slow collapse of
the bag, the sound of air escaping, or visual ob-

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