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





mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus) are classic

saprophytes, although they are frequently
found on dying cottonwood, oak, poplar,
birch, maple and alder trees. These appear to
be operating parasitically when they are only
exploiting a rapidly evolving ecological
Many parasitic fungi are microfungi and
are barely visible to the naked eye. In mass,
they cause the formation of cankers and shoot
blights. Often their preeminence in a middle-

aged forest is symptomatic of other imbalances within the ecosystem.

Acid rain,

ground water pollution, insect damage, and
loss of protective habitat all are contributing
factors unleashing parasitic fungi. After a tree

dies, from parasitic fungi or other causes,
saprophytic fungi come into play.
Figure 11. Intrepid amateur mycologist Richard
Gaines points to a parasitic fungus

view is rapidly changing as science
progresses. A new parasitic fungus attacking
the Yew tree has been recently discovered by

Montana State University researchers. This
new species is called Taiomyces andreanae
for one notable feature: it produces minute
quantities of the potent anti-carcinogen taxol,
a proven shrinker of breast cancer. (Stone,
1993). If this new fungus can be grown in suffi-

cient quantities in liquid culture, the potential
value of the genome of parasitic fungi takes on
an entirely new dimension.

Many saprophytic fungi can be weakly
parasitic in their behavior, especially if a host
tree is dying from other causes. These can be
called facultative parasites: saprophytic fungi
activated by favorable conditions to behave
parasitically. Some parasitic fungi continue
to grow long after their host has died. Oyster

Saprophytic Mushrooms:
The Decomposers
Most of the gourmet mushrooms are
These saprophytic fungi are the premier recyclers on the planet. The filamentous mycelial

network is designed to weave between and
through the cell walls of plants. The enzymes
and acids they secrete degrade large molecular complexes into simpler compounds. All
ecosystems depend upon fungi's ability to decompose organic plant matter soon after it is
rendered available. The end result of their activity is the return of carbon, hydrogen,
nitrogen and minerals back into the ecosystem in forms usable to plants, insects and
other organisms. As decomposers, they can

be separated into three key groups. Some
mushroom species cross over from one category to another depending upon prevailing

Primary Decomposers: These are the

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