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






Growth Parameters
Spawn Run:
Temperature: 75° F. (24° C.)
Relative Humidity: 85-95%
Duration: 12-21 days
C02: 5000-20,000 ppm
FreshAir Exchanges: 1 per hour
Light Requirements: n/a

Primordia Formation:
Temperature: 50-60° F. (10-15.6° C.)
Relative Humidity: 95-100%
Duration: 3-5 days
C02: < 1000 ppm
FreshAir Exchanges: 4-8 per hour
Light Requirements: 1000-1500(2000) lux.*

Fruitbody Development
Incubation Temperature: 60-70° F. (10-21° C.)
Relative Humidity: 85-90%
Duration: 4-7 days
C02: < 1000 ppm
FreshAir Exchanges:4-8 per hour.
Light Requirements: 1000-1500 (2000) lux.

Cropping Cycle:
3-4 crops, 7-14 days apart, over 45-55 days.

malformations of the fruitbodies occur: typically long stems and small caps. In fact, the cap-to-stem
ratio is an accurate measurement of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels in the growing room and is
used as a visual cue by Oyster cultivators for increasing air exchange.
This mushroom species is also super-sensitive to light levels. (See Eger (1980)). In low light, a

Eger et al. (1974) determined that P ostreatus forms the most primordia in response to a light intensity of 2000 lux or

about 185 foot candles. Light intensities exceeding 2000 luxlhour caused a precipitous drop in the number of primordia forming. At 10,000 lux/hr. (>925 foot candles), primordia failed to form. Their studies showed that continuous,
optimal light stimulation during the primordia formation resulted in the largest population of primordia. (However, I
note that if the base nutrition or the strain can not support the development of such large population of primordia, the
cultivator may actually reduce yield efficiency.) Studies by Kalberer (1974) showed that total yield was maximized
(and stem mass minimized) at 300-430 lux at 12 hours per day. The critical primordia formation period extends for 6-7
days. If the total light exposure, measured in "lux hours" per day fails to exceed 2400, equivalent to 100 ux or approx.
9 ft. candles of continuous lighting, P ostreatus is triggered into "coral" formation. (See Figure 190). Continuous
lighting at optimal levels prevent re-vegetation of developing primordia, a phenomenon occurring with many strains
grown in under-exposed settings. Once primordia are well formed, diurnal cycles are recommended. As insightful as
this research is, strain sensitivity could sway light optima in either direction.

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