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





The Global Environmental
Shift and The Loss of
Species Diversity
Studies in Europe show a frightening loss
of species diversity in forestlands, most evi-

dent with the mycorrhizal species. Many
mycologists fear many mushroom varieties,
and even species, will soon become extinct.
As the mycorrhizal species decline in both

numbers and variety, the populations of
saprophytic and parasitic fungi initially rise,
a direct result of the increased availability of
dead wood debris. However, as woodlots are
burned and replanted, the complex mosaic of
the natural forest is replaced by a highly uniform, mono-species landscape. Because the
replanted trees are nearly identical in age, the
cycle of debris replenishing the forest floor is
interrupted. This new "ecosystem" cannot sup-


bacteria, micro-fungi—upon which the ancient forests are dependent. As the number of
species declines, whole communities of organisms disappear. New associations are likewise
limited. If this trend continues, I believe the

future of new forests, indeed the planet, is
Apart from the impact of wood harvest, the

health of biologically diverse forests is in increasing jeopardy due to acid rain and other
airborne toxins. Eventually, the populations
of all fungi—saprophytic and mycorrhizal—

suffer as the critical mass of dead trees
declines more rapidly than it is replenished.
North Americans have already experienced
the results of habitat-loss from the European

forests. Importation of wild picked mushrooms from Mexico, United States and
Canada to Europe has escalated radically in
the past twenty years. This increase in de-

port the myriad of fungi, insects, small

mand is

mammals, birds, mosses and flora so charac-

popularity of eating wild mushrooms. It is a
direct reflection of the decreased availability

teristic of ancestral forests. In pursuit of
commercial forests, the native ecology has
been supplanted by a biologically anemic
woodlot. This woodlot landscape is barren in
terms of species diversity.
With the loss of every ecological niche, the
sphere of bio-diversity shrinks. At some pres-

not just due to the growing

of wild mushrooms from regions of the
world suffering from ecological shock The
woodlands of North America are only a few

decades behind the forests of Europe and
With the loss of habitat of the mycorrhizal

ently unknown level, the diversity will fall

gourmet mushrooms, market demands for

below the critical mass needed for sustaining a

gourmet mushrooms should shift to those that
can be cultivated. Thus, the pressure on this
not-yet renewable resource would be allevi-

healthy forestland. Once passed, the forest
may not ever recover without direct and drastic
counter-action: the insertion of multi-age
trees, of different species, with varying canopies and undergrowth. Even with such

extraordinary action, the complexity of a replanted forest can not match that which has

ated, and the judicious use of saprophytic
fungi by homeowners as well as foresters
may well prevent widespread parasitic disease vectors. Selecting and controlling the
types of saprophytic fungi occupying these

evolved for thousands of years. Little is understood about prerequisite microflora—yeasts,

ecological niches can benefit both forester and

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