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






years, the new trees are dug up and replanted
into new environments. This method has had
the longest tradition of success in Europe.
Another approach, modestly successful, is
to dip the exposed roots of seedlings into water enriched with the spore mass of a
mycorrhizal candidate. First, mushrooms are
gathered from the wild and soaked in water.

Thousands of spores are washed off of the
gills resulting in an enriched broth of inocu-

favoring pines, grow quite readily on sterilized media. A major industry has evolved
providing foresters with seedlings inoculated
with this fungus. Myconhized seedlings are
healthier and grow faster than nonmycorrhized




gourmet mycorrhizal mushroom species do
not fall into the readily cultured species category. The famous Matsutake (Tricholorna
magnivelare) may take weeks before its myce-

lum. A spore-mass slurry coming from several

lium fully colonizes the medium on a single

mature mushrooms and diluted into a 5-gallon bucket can inoculate a hundred or more
seedlings. The concept is wonderfully simple.

petri dish! Unfortunately, this rate of growth is
the rule rather than the exception with the majority of gourmet mycorrhizal species.
Chanterelles are one of the most popularly

Unfortunately, success is not guaranteed.

Broadcasting spore mass onto the root

collected wild mushrooms. In the Pacific

zones of likely candidates is another avenue
that costs little in time and effort. Habitats
should be selected on the basis of their parallels in nature. For instance, Chanterelles can
be found in oak forests of the midwest and in
Douglas fir forests of the west. Casting spore
mass of Chanterelles into forests similar to
those where Chanterelles proliferate is obviously the best choice. Although the success
rate is not high, the rewards are well worth
the minimum effort involved. Bear in mind
that tree roots confirmed to be mycorrhized
with a gourmet mushroom will not necessarily result in harvestable mushrooms. Fungi
and their host trees may have long associations without the appearance of edible
fruitbodies. (For more information, consult
Fox (1983)).

Northwest of North America the harvesting
of Chanterelles has become a controversial,
(Cant ha rellus
cibarius) also form mycorrhizal associations
with trees. Additionally, they demonstrate a
unique interdependence on soil yeasts. This
type of mycorrhizal relationship makes tissue
culture most difficult. At least three organisms must be cultured simultaneously: the
host tree, the mushroom, and soil yeasts. A
red soil yeast, Rhodotorula glutinis, is crucial
in stimulating spore germination. The Chanterelle life cycle may have more dimensions
of biological complexity. Currently, no one
has grown Chanterelles to the fruitbody stage

On sterilized media, most mycorrhizal
mushrooms grow slowly, compared to the

the timing of their introduction appears critical to success in the mycorrhizal theater.
Senescence occurs with both saprophytic

saprophytic mushrooms. Their long evolved
dependence on root by-products and complex

soils makes media preparation inherently
more complicated. Some mycorrhizal species, like Pisolithus tinctorius, a puffball

under laboratory conditions. Not only do
other microorganisms play essential roles,

and myconhizal mushroom species. Often
the first sign of senescence is not the inability

of mycelium to grow vegetatively, but the
loss of the formation of the sexually repro-

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