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






network of mycelium is insufficiently
Early formation of Shiitake has disadvantages. If the

not be supported. If
formed, lacking both density and tenacity, high quality mushrooms can
two weeks of colonization, top grade Shiitake is produced.
be carefully cut flush with the outer
When the first crop is picked from the white blocks, they must
will be pulled off. I prefer to hold back
surface with a sharp knife or chunks of the sawdust substrate
less than a dozen mushrooms on the first
the fruitings until 28-35 days after inoculation, allowing
recommended for crop development.
flush, and then exposing the substrate to the conditions
totally different than for subseThe first flush from white blocks is unique and calls for a strategy
the window of opportunity can pass. During
quent flushes. Timing is critical. If one is not attentive,
smooth flat plane, pressed flush
incubation, the outer surface of the myceliated sawdust appears as a
until the blocks start "buckto the surface walls of the polypropylene bags.
are the precursors to
ling"—an irregular, blister-like surface topography
temperatures are
primordia. (See Figure 240). Several days after this surface
Often appressing against the interior
dropped and small brown spots form at the peaks of the blisters.
1-3 mm. in diameter. Should more than a
plastic walls, the primordia can form overnight, measuring
plastic, the crop quality greatly suffers. The culdozen mushrooms form, or if develop underneath the
and expose the sensitive mycelium to the
tivator must assess the maturity of the primordia population
bags from the blocks.
air precisely at the right time by stripping the plastic
environment of the growing room. MasThe mycelium is suddenly thrust into the highly aerobic
aerial, fluffy white mycelium. For this first flush,
sive evaporation begins from the newly exposed
the humidity must be maintained at
which forms topically on the outer surface of the sawdust block,

primordia form. At this stage, the
100% under fog-like conditions until the desired number of
(See Figure

several brown headed primordia.
Shiitake blocks are snow-white in color and dotted with
within the bag to the highly aerobic environ241).The sudden shift from the CO2 rich environment
ment of the growing room signals the block to bear fruit.
opportunity is so narrow, all the skills of the
Since these events occur rapidly and the window of
form is a real problem. The more mushcultivator come into play. Allowing too many primordia to
increasing the labor at harvest. The fewer mushrooms set,
rooms that are set, the smaller they will be,
of mushrooms that form, the yield remains
generally the larger they will become. Despite the number
sawdustlchip/brafl is usually 3/4 to 1 lb. of mushconstant. The first flush from a moist 6 lb. alder
rooms per block.
humidity is lowered, and air turbulence is increased
Once six to a dozen mushrooms form, relative
collapses, or in mushroom lingo "pans". This flatto affect greater evaporation. The aerial mycelium
eventually giving rise to the brown skin so
tened mycelium becomes the thickened coat of dead cells,
Figures 246-247).
characteristic of the remainder of the block's lifespan. (See
humidity in the growing room is lowered
After the first flush, the fruiting blocks must dry out.
C.).** After 7-10 days of dormancy, the now browning
to 30-50% and maintained around 70° F.(21°
blocks are submerged in water (non-chloriblocks weigh only 3-4 lbs. of their original weight. The

Some cullivators call this "blistering" or

** This fmiting strategy is specific to warm weather strains of Shiitake.

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