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





Comments: A quality mushroom, Bunashimeji is popular in Japan and is being
intensively cultivated in the Nagano Prefecture. The only two mushrooms which come
close to this species in over-all quality are H.
ulniarius or Pleurotus eryngii.
In the same environment ideal for Shiitake
(i.e. normal light, CO2 less than 1000 ppm), my
strains of H. tessulatus produce a stem less than
2 inches tall and a cap many times broader than
the stem is long. When I reduce these light and

elevate carbon dioxide levels, the mushrooms
metamorphosize into the form preferred by the
Japanese. Here again, the Japanese have set the
standard for quality.
In the growing room, abbreviated caps and
stem elongation is encouraged so that forking
bouquets emerge from narrow mouthed
bottles. Modest light levels are maintained
(400 lux) with a higher than normal carbon diFigure 223. Bag culture of Buna-shimeji on supplemented alder sawdust and chips.
oxide levels (>2000 ppm.) to promote this form
is well merited, although the
of product. From a cultivator's point of view, this cultivation strategy
This cultivation strategy is probably the
mushrooms look quite different from those found in nature.
American mycologists viewed
primary reason for the confused identifications. When visiting Japan,
seen only in the wild, and
these abnormal forms of H. tessulatus, a mushroom they had
suspected they belonged to Lyophyllum. (Lincoff (1993)).
brown primordia with
Many of the strains of H. marmoreus cultivated in Japan produce dark gray
tawny or pale
speckled caps. These mushrooms lighten in color as the mushrooms mature,
woody brown at maturity. All the strains I have obtained from cloning
when young, fading to a light tan at
from the Pacific Northwest of North America are creamy brown
I see may only be regional in
maturity, and have distinct water-markings on the caps. The differences
tessulatus, but is Lyophyllum
Although we now know that Hon-shimeji (i.e. true Shimeji) is not H.
Japanese, when referring to
shimeji (Kwam.) Hongo, habits in identification are hard to break. Many
cultivated Hon-shimeji, are in fact thinking of H. tessulatus.
typical of Pleurotus
This mushroom does not exude a yellowish metabolite from the mycelium
produces a mycelium-bound toxin to
species. However, Petersen (1993) has found that H. tessulatus
mycelium. This discovery may exnematodes, similar to that present in the droplets of P ostreatus
growing Hypsizygus
plain why I have never experienced a nematode infestation in the course of

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