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 Oyster Mushrooms
of the Genus Pleurotus
Oyster mushrooms are by far the easiest and least expensive to grow. For small cultivators with
limited budgets, Oyster mushrooms are the clear choice for gaining entry into the gourmet mush-

room industry. Few other mushrooms demonstrate such adaptability, aggressiveness, and
productivity as these species of Pleurotus. Preeminent wood decomposers, Pleurotus species grow
on a wider array of forest and agricultural wastes than species from any other group. They thrive on
most all hardwoods, on wood by-products (sawdust, paper, pulp sludge), all the cereal straws, corn
and corn cobs, on sugar cane bagasse, coffee residues (coffee grounds, hulls, stalks, & leaves), ba-

nana fronds, cottonseed hulls, agave waste, soy pulp and on other materials too numerous to
mention and difficult to imagine possible. More than any other group of mushrooms, Pleurotus species can best serve to reduce hunger in developing nations, and to revitalize rural economies. To this
end, world-wide Oyster mushroom production has surged in recent years, from 169,000 metric tons
in 1987 to 909,000 in 1990.
Most extraordinary about Oyster mushrooms is their conversion of substrate mass into mushrooms. Biological efficiencies often exceed 100%, some of the greatest, if not the greatest, in the
world of cultivated mushrooms. In the course of decomposing dry straw, nearly 50% of the mass is
liberated as gaseous carbon dioxide, 20% is lost as residual water, 20% remains as "spent" compost,
and 10% is converted into dry mushrooms. (See Figure 39 and Chapter 7 for an explanation of Biological Efficiency.) This yield can be also expressed as a 25% conversion of the wet mass of the
substrate into fresh mushrooms. This formula is greatly affected by the stage at which the mushrooms
are harvested.
On a dry weight basis, Oyster mushrooms have substantial protein, ranging from 15-35% and contain significant quantities of free amino acids. They are replete with assorted vitamins such as vitamin
C (30-144 mg. per 100 grams) and vitamin B, niacin (109 mg. per 100 grams). The variation in the
reported nutritional analysis of Oyster mushrooms is due to several factors. The protein content is affected by the type of substrate and by the spawning media and rate. Finally strains of Pleurotus vary in
their nutritional composition and yield performances. For more information on the nutritional properties of Oyster mushrooms, refer to the articles by El Kattan (1991), Rai et al. (1988), and Bano &
Rajarathnam (1982).
Three notable disadvantages persist in the cultivation of Oyster mushrooms. Foremost is that the
mushrooms are quick to spoil, presentable to the market for only a few days. (This supports argument
that local producers supply local markets). Secondly, the spore load generated within the growing
room can become a potential health hazard to workers. Sporeless strains, which tend to have short
gills and are thicker fleshed, prolonging storage, are highly sought after by Oyster growers. (See Fig-

ure 282). Thirdly, the grower must wage a constant battle against the intrusion of flies. Oyster
mushrooms attract Sciarid and Phorid flies to a far greater degree than any other group of mushrooms
described in this book. The ifies swirl in frenzied aerial dances around mature Oyster mushrooms,
aroused by spore release.

PDF compression, OCR, web-optimization with CVISION's PdfCompressor