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






This species adapts well to liquid culture techniques. I prefer to use malt agar media supplemented
with 3-5 grams of alder sawdust. Once the cultures are grown out, they are blended in a stiner, sub-

proportioned into Erlenmeyers flasks containing malt sugar, yeast, and alder (2%;.l%: .5%
respectively), fermented for two days, and injected into sterilized rye grain. These liquid-inoculated
grain masters are then used to inoculate sawdust for the creation of sawdust spawn which can then be
used to inoculate the fruiting substrate: sawdust/chips/bran. For further information of Shiitake under
liquid culture conditions, see Raaska (1990), Yang & Jong (1987) and Leatham (1983).
SuggestedAgar Media: PDYA, MYA, and OMYA with the addition of .2% of the hardwood sawdust
used in the production block.

1st, 2nd and 3rd Generation Spawn Media: Rye, wheat, sorghum or corn throughout for the first
two generations. I recommend sawdust spawn for the third and final generation.
Substrates for Fruiting: Broad-leaf hardwoods such as oak, ironwood, sweetgum, beech, poplar,
cottonwood, and alder.
The formula described on page 162 utilizing sawdust, chips, rice or rye bran, and buffered with
gypsum is ideal for high yield, indoor production. At make-up this substrate hovers around 5.5-6.0.
Prior to fruiting, the pH drops to 3.5-4.5. (The optimal range for fruiting, according to Chang & Miles

(1989) falls between 4.2-4.6). Other recipes utilize a variety of supplements, including various
grains, the cereal brans, most flours, tea leaves, yeast, molasses etc. For further information on formulating sawdust-based media, consult Jong (1989), Royse & Bahier (1986), San Antonio (1981)
and Ando (1974). The Forest Research Institute of New Zealand published one of the first studies exploring the usefulness of pines (Pinus radiata—the Monterey Pine) which produced satisfactorily
yields when combined with a hardwood such as beech or poplar and supplemented with barley grain.
(The ratio was 6 parts pine: 3 parts hardwood: 1 part grain.)

Figure 246. 2-3 days after submersion, mushrooms
form below the surface, cracking the outer brown

4 days trom the soak tank, mushrooms
visibly extend beyond the surface plane of the sawdust block.

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