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 resident mushroom mycelium increases the plant's absorption of nutrients,
nitrogenous compounds, and essential elements (phosphorus, copper and zinc). By
growing beyond the immediate root zone, the

mycelium channels and concentrates nutrients from afar. Plants with mycorrhizal
fungal partners can also resist diseases far
better than those without.

Most ecologists now recognize that a
forest's health is directly related to the presence, abundance and variety of mycorrhizal
associations. The mycelial component of top
soil within a typical Douglas fir forest in the
Pacific Northwest approaches 10% of the total biomass. Even this estimate may be low,

not taking into account the mass of the
endomycorrhizae and the many yeast-like
fungi that thrive in the topsoil.
The nuances of climate, soil chemistry and
predominant microflora play determinate
roles in the cultivation of mycorrhizal mush-

rooms in natural settings. I am much more
inclined to spend time attempting the cultiva-

tion of native mycorrhizal species than to
import exotic candidates from afar. Here is a
relevant example.

Truffle orchards are well established in
France, Spain and Italy, with the renowned
Perigold black truffle, Tuber melanosporuni,

fetching up to $500 per lb. (See Figure 7).
Only in the past 30 years has tissue culture of
Truffle mycelium become widely practiced,
allowing the development of planted Truffle
orchards. Land owners seeking an economic

return without resorting to cutting trees are
naturally attracted to this prospective investment. The idea is enticing. Think of having

an orchard of oaks

or filberts, yielding

pounds of Truffles per year for decades at
several hundred dollars a pound! Several

Figure 7. A Truffle market in France.

companies in this country have, in the past 12
years, marketed Truffle-inoculated trees for
commercial use. Calcareous soils (i. e. high
in calcium) in Texas, Washington and Oregon

have been suggested as ideal sites. Tens of
thousands of dollars have been exhausted in
this endeavor. Ten years after planting, I
know of only one, possibly two, successes
with this method. This discouraging state of
affairs should be fair warning to investors
seeking profitable enterprises in the arena of
Truffle cultivation. Suffice it to say that the
only ones to have made money in the Truffle
tree industry are those who have resold "inoculated" seedlings to other would-be
A group of Oregon trufflateurs has been attempting to grow the Oregon White Truffle,
Tuber gibbossum. Douglas fir seedlings have
been inoculated with mycelium from this na-

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