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






Suggested Agar Culture Media: MYPA,
PDYA, OMYA or DFA. Optimal growth seen at
pH 5.5-6.5.

1st, 2nd & 3rd Generation Spawn Media:
Rye, wheat, milo, sorghum, corn, & millet.
Sawdust spawn is not needed for indoor cultivation methods. However, sawdust spawn is
ideal in the inoculation of stumps and logs in
outdoor settings.

Substrates for Fruiting: A wide array of agricultural and forest waste products can be used,
including but not limited to: straw (wheat, rye,
oat, rice, and barley straw); corn stalks, sugar
cane bagasse; coffee pulp; banana waste; cot-

ton waste & cottonseed hulls; hardwood
sawdusts; paper by-products; soybean waste;
palm oil by-products; agave waste; and even
the pulp remaining from tequila production!
Figure 285. A white Oyster variety of P ostreatus
The pH at make-up can vary between 6.0-8.0
isolated from southern California that fruits 10 days
but should fall to an optimum of 5.0 at fruiting
from inoculation onto wheat straw.
for maximum biomass production. (See ElKattan et al., 1990.)
Martinez et al. (1985) reported yields of 132% biological efficiency (4 flushes) from coffee pulp
that was fermented for 5 days, pasteurized, and inoculated with wheat grain spawn. Further, they
found residual caffeine from the spent substrate was reduced by more than 90%. (Caffeine represents
a significant toxic waste to streams in coffee growing regions of the world.) Martinez-Carrera(1987)
validated the results with yields in excess of 100% biological efficiency on the same substrate and
presented the first model for utilizing this abundant waste product.
Platt et al. (1982) published studies on the utility of cotton straw as a substrate for this mushroom.
Their yields average 600-700 grams per kilogram of dry cotton straw, in other words 60-70% biological efficiency.

Yield Potentials: 75-200% biological efficiency, greatly affected by the size of the fruitbodies harvested, and the number of flushes orchestrated.
Harvest Hints: Mushrooms should be picked when young, and preferably in clusters. Once the gills
produce abundant spores, storageability rapidly declines. Workers should wear filter masks effective
down to 7 microns to eliminate the inhaling of spores. Mushroom surfaces should be slightly dry at
harvest. Mushrooms should be chilled first to 350 F (1-2° C.) and then placed into end-user containers (for restaurants or consumers) and covered with breathable, anti-condensate plastic film.

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