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






Pleurotus ostreatus (Jacquin ex Fries) Kummer

Figure 280. P. ostreatus mycelia 4 and 10 days after inoculation onto malt extract agar media.

Introduction: The prototypic Oyster mushroom, Pleurotus ostreatus has long been a favorite of
mushroom hunters, especially in the spring time in lowland, hardwood forests. A prolific producer on
a wide anay of substrates, strains of this species are plentiful and easy to grow. Enjoying a worldwide
reputation, specimens of extraordinary size have been collected from the wild. For instance, in the fall
of 1988 near the north coast of Sicily, Salvatore Terracina, a fanner, collected a P ostreatus nearly 8 ft.

in circumference, 20 inches thick, and weighing 42 lbs! For the prepared and astute cultivator,
cloning this monster could have resulted in an extraordinarily productive strain.

Common Names:

The Oyster Mushroom, Oyster Shelf, Tree Oyster
Straw Mushroom
Hiratake (Japanese for "Flat Mushroom")
Tamogitake (Japanese)

Taxonomic Synonyms & Considerations: Pleurotus ostreatus is the type species for the Genus
Pleurotus and represents a huge complex of subspecies, varieties and strains. Comparisons with other
taxa is compounded by the fact many strains labelled as P ostreatus are in fact P pulmonarius and
vice versa. For a mushroom so widely cultivated, I am surprised (and relieved) that only recently has
the taxonomy become clearer, largely through the works of Petersen, Vilgalys and Hilber.
Pleurotus ostreatus is so similar to P pulmonarius that they are difficult to separate macroscopi-

cally. The western collections of Oyster mushrooms on conifers usually fall into P pulmonarius

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