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






of the surface, the region supporting the creation of primordia.
Light: In nature, light acts as a signal alerting

the mycelium to an open-air environment
where, should mushrooms form, spores can be
spread into the air. Light controls stem elongation and cap development. Ideal light
conditions—intensity and wavelength—vary
with each species and strain. Indirect natural
light, or the dappled light filtering through a
forest canopy, is considered ideal for woodland
mushrooms. Specific photo-periods and spectral frequencies have not yet been established
for all mushroom species. In these cases, cultivators resort to providing the lighting
necessary to the most sensitive of the gourmet

mushrooms, the Pleurotus species. Modest
light is not harmful to developing mushroom
mycelium; it seems unaffected by its presence.

Direct sunlight or high intensity exposure is
harmful. The fluorescent lights used in indoor

Figure 190. Lack of light causes Oyster mushrooms
to malform into coral-like structures.

facilities do not inhibit mycelial growth, and in
some circumstances may stimulate early pri-

pg/mg.) levels, the wavelengths most stimula-

mordia formation. For most species, light

tory for primordia formation were between

levels between and 50-1000 lux and 3 80-480
nanometers (green to blue) seem most stimula-

400-500 nanometers, what we know as blue to
ultraviolet light. Calcium is naturally present in
woods in sufficient quantities to allow fruiting.
Just as strains of Shiitake differ in their fruiting

tory to primordia formation. (I use six 8 ft.
long, "Daylight" 6500 Kelvin fluorescents to
light each 1000 sq. ft. growing room which also
gets supplemental natural light through a row
of diffusion panels.) For specific light require-

ments, please consult the growth parameters
for the species being cultivated.

Leatham and Stahlman (1987, 1989) con-

ducted trials with Shiitake on chemically
defined media which showed that the absence
of calcium made the mycelium unresponsive to
light stimulation. At low calcium levels (<40
pg/mg) Shiitake mycelium formed mushrooms
when stimulated by light between 600-680 nanometers or red light. At high calcium (>130

cycles, I suspect that the "calcium factor" in
triggering Shiitake formation may be strain
specific. Nevertheless, the interplay between
light and calcium concentrations continues to
be a subject of great interest. Further studies
are needed to compare the many strains, on
various woods, with varying levels of calcium,
and at different wavelengths.
The body of mycelium is not as sensitive to
these environmental stimuli until the substrate,

its impending food source, has become fully
captured by it. Where there are zones of
uncolonized substrate, the mycelium continues

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