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






Chapter 21 for the particular time requirements
of each species.) With a one-room laboratory,
inoculations and incubation can occur in the
same space. If a multi-room laboratory is being
used, then the supplemented sawdust blocks are
furthest downstream from the preciouS petri dish
cultures. In fact, they should be nearest the door
for ease of removal. Ideally, this sequence of prioritizing cultures should follow each step in the
exponential expansion of the mycelial mass:

1. Petri dish cultures are furthest upstream,
i.e are given the highest priority.
2. Grain spawn is organized in rank, downstream from the cultures maintained on malt
agar media. First Generation, Second Generation and Third Generation spawn are prioritized accordingly. Grain spawn, incubated in
jars, is best stored at angles in vertical racks.
3. Sawdust spawn, being created from grain
spawn, is next in line. Second generation sawdust spawn is kept next downstream
4. Supplemented sawdust blocks designed for
mushroom cropping, along with any other units
destined for fruiting or implantation outdoors, are
incubated closest to the exit. (Please refer to Figure 387, Lay-out of a spawn laboratory.)

As the mycelium is expanded with each
generation of cultures, contamination is in-

creasingly likely. This specified flow pattern
prevents reverse contamination of upstream
cultures from those downstream.
Once the mycelium achieves the above-described "grip" on the supplemented sawdust,
the nature of the mycelium changes entirely.
The blocks cease to generate heat, and carbon
dioxide evolution abruptly declines. With most
species, the blocks no longer need to be treated
so delicately. They can be moved to secondary

storage rooms, even thrown through the air
from one person to another. (A new sport!?)
This state of "mycelial fortitude" greatly facili-

tates the handling process. The blocks should
be moved out of the laboratory environment
and either taken to a staging room for later dis-

tribution to the growing room or a dark,
refrigeration room until needed. This resilient
state persists until mushrooms form within the
bags, either in response to environmental

changes or not. Many strains of Lentinula
edodes (Shiitake), Hericium erinaceus (Lion's
Mane), GrifolafrondOSa (Hen-of-the-Woods),
Agrocybe aegerita (Black Poplar Mushroom),
and Pleurotus spp. produce volunteer crops of
mushrooms within the bags as they incubate in
the laboratory, without any environmental shift
to stimulate them.
For many of the species listed in this book,
volunteer fruitings begin three to six weeks af-

ter inoculation. Just prior to the formation of

visible mushrooms, the topography of the

mycelium changes. With Shiitake, "blistering"
occurs. The smooth surface of the outer layers

of mycelium, roughens, forming miniature

mountains and valleys. (See Chapter 21.) With

Lion's Mane (Hericium erinaceus), dense,

star-like zones form. These are the immediate
precursors to true primordia. If these ripe bags
are not taken to the growing room in time, the
newly forming mushrooms soon malform:

most frequently with long stems and small
caps. (These features are in response to high
C02, lack of light, or both.) The young mushrooms at this stage are truly embryonic and
must be treated with the utmost care. The
slightest damage to the developing primordia
will be seen later—at the full maturity—as
gross deformations: dimpled or incomplete
caps, squirrelly stems, etc. Shiitake are particu-

larly fragile at this stage whereas Oyster

mushrooms tend to return to a near-normal
forms once exposed to the conducive climate of
the growing room.

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