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






the incubation room warmer than recommended is likely to cause the internal

mycelium constantly gives the spawn manager
clues about the potential success of each run.

incubation temperatures to rise to dangerous

Large runs of supplemented sawdust are
more likely to host minute pockets of
unsterilized substrate than smaller ones.

levels. Carbon dioxide levels within the laboratory should never exceed 1000 ppm, although
20,000-40,000 ppm of CO2 is typical within the
bags as they incubate. This steep slope of high
CO2 within the bag to the low CO2 in the atmosphere of the laboratory is helpful in controlling
the evolution of metabolic processes. Should the
gradient be less severe, CO2 levels can easily exceed 50,000 ppm within the incubating bags. At
this and higher levels, mycelial growth lessens
and contaminants are encouraged. To compensate, the laboratory air handling system must be
adjusted for the proper mixing of fresh vs. recir-

Should colonization be inhibited, encouraged by
any number of factors— poor strain vigor, a dilute
inoculation rate, elevated internal thermal or car-

bon dioxide levels—contaminants are to be
expected. This race between the mycelium and legions of competitors isa central theme operating

throughout every stage of the cultivation process.

Achieving Full Colonization
on Supplemented Sawdust

culated air. (See Appendix II Designing a

Prior to the mycelium densely colonizing

Three days after inoculation the mycelium

the blocks with a thick and tenacious mycelial
mat, the supplemented sawdust appears to be
grown through with a fine, but not fully articulated, mycelial network. With most species, the
once brown sawdust mixture takes on a grayish

becomes clearly visible, often appearing as
fuzzy spots of growth. Second shaking, although essential for insuring full colonization
of grain spawn, is not usually advisable in the
incubation of supplemented sawdust. If com-

plete sterilization has not been achieved,
second shaking can result in a contamination
bloom. If one is certain that sterilization has
been achieved, second shaking helps colonization, especially around Days 4-5.
Each species uniquely colonizes supplemented sawdust. Oyster mycelium is
notoriously fast, as is Morel mycelium. "Good
growth" can be generally described as fans of
mycelium rapidly radiating outwards from the
points of inoculation. Growth is noticeable on
a daily, and in some cases, on an hourly basis.
When the mycelium loses it finger-like outer
edges, forming circular dials, or distinct zones
of demarcation, this is often a sign that contaminants have been encountered, although

white appearance. With Shiitake mycelium,
this is usually between Days 3-7. During this
state, the mycelium has yet to reach its peak
penetration through the substrate. Although the

substrate has been captured as a geological
niche, the mycelial network continues to grow
furiously, exponentially increasing in its micro-netting capacity. The bags feel warm to the
touch and carbon dioxide evolution peaks.
Within hours, a sudden transformation oc-

curs: The once-gray appearance of the bags
flush to snow-white. The fully articulated, thick
mycelial network achieves a remarkable tenacity,
holding fast onto the substrate. Now when each

block is grasped, the substrate holds together
without falling apart, feeling solid to the touch.

The blocks can be further incubated until
needed, within certain time restraints. (Refer to

they may not yet be visible. The behavior of the

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