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




other gourmet and medicinal mushrooms. More
accurately, I would described these fruitings as
being triggered by nutrient limitation, not deprivation.

FRUITBODY (Mushroom)
Moisture: Atmospheric moisture must be
carefully managed to allow mushroom development but not to the advantage of

competitors While relative humidity approaches 100% during primordia formation, it
should be lowered to levels whereby a constant
rate of evaporation is drawn from the
fruitbodies.The crop should be sprayed several
times a day, as long as the excess water is soon
reabsorbed by either the mushrooms, the sub-

strate, or the air. This dynamic process of
replenishment and loss encourages the best crops

of mushrooms. The humidity in the growing
room is often reduced several hours prior to
picking, extending the shelf life of the crop.
This is where the "Art" of cultivation plays a
critical role in affecting quality.
Air Exchange: Air exchange and turbulence

are managed for maximum benefit of the
mushrooms, in terms of reducing carbon dioxide levels, elevating oxygen concentration, and
to effect the constant evaporation of moisture
from the surfaces of the maturing mushrooms.
Temperature: Temperature levels either re-

main the same or are raised. Typically after
primordia formation, temperature controls the


speed of development of the fruitbody. Natu-

rally, warmer temperatures result in faster
growth while colder temperatures slow development. One advantage of fruiting at a cooler
temperature is that a firmer-fleshed, higherquality mushroom forms at the time of harvest.
Lighting: Without adequate light, stem elon-

gation and malformation of the cap occur.
Oyster and Enoki mushrooms are especially
sensitive. Also strong light alters the pigment
of the developing mushrooms. Some strains of
Oyster mushrooms darken under bright light
conditions; others pale. This response is also
affected by temperature.
Duration: The timing of crops; their first ap-

pearance, the duration of harvest, and the
period of time between crops are strain and
process dependent. With Shiitake on sterilized
sawdust/chips/bran, I go for 4 or 5 crops. With
Oyster mushrooms grown in columns on pasteurized straw, two to three flushes seem most

efficient. Approximately seven days to two
weeks separate the end of the first flush to the
beginning of the second. Fruiting occurs within
time frames, or "windows of opportunities. "A
period of dormancy is required between crops
so nutrients can be accumulated as the mycehum prepares for the next crop. During these
windows of opportunity, the cultivator must actively signal the mushroom mycelium with as
many environmental stimuli as possible. Synchronizing this combination of events gives
rise to the best possible fruitings.

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