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






Psilocybe which persisted for years. (Consult Smith (1977), Ott (1978) and Singer (1986, pp. 570571, see footnotes.))

Our limited understanding of the temperate, wood-inhabiting Psilocybe, particularly the
Psilocybe cyanescens group, derives from, or more accurately suffers from, our interpretations of
Singer and Smith's publications of 1958. We now know that a large constellation of species, subspecies and races revolves around the species concept of P cyanescens. (The taxonomy of this group is
mired in a problem comparable to Pleurotus sajor-caju and Pleurotus pulmonarius. (See page 321.))
Mycologists in the past have improperly mis-applied species concepts from the European continent
to North American candidates.

The type collection of Psilocybe cyanescens described by Wakefield from England lacks
pleurocystidia, microscopic sterile cells on the surfaces of the gills. The photographs of a mushroom
species from western North America identified in popular field guides as Psilocybe cyanescens (see
Stamets (1978), Arora (1979), Lincoff (1981), Arora (1991) and numerous papers published since
1958) show a mushroom which, in fact, possesses abundant, capitate pleurocystidia. (See Figure
291.) Since this feature is consistent and obvious in water mounts under a microscope, and occurs in
such high numbers, the mushroom in question can not be the true P cyanescens. In fact, I believe no
species concept has yet been published to accurately delimit this mushroom.
Another unnamed species, originating from the Columbia river basin nearAstoria, Oregon is similar to the misnamed "P cyanescens". This mushroom, distinguished by its comparatively great size
and non-undulating cap margin, is a close cousin, possibly belonging to the European Psilocybe
serbica Moser et Horak complex. Provisionally, I am giving this mushroom the name Psilocybe
azurescens Stamets and Gartz nom. prov. The third species in this group from the Pacific Northwest is

distinguished by its forking cheilocystidia, and is called Psilocybe cyanofibrillosa Stamets &
Guzman. (See Stamets et aL,l980) I know of several more taxa yet to be published. Despite the un-

usual attention these mushrooms have received, the taxonomy of this group needs further
exploration. This group of new Psilocybes falls within an expanded concept of Singer & Smith's
Stirps Cyanescens as amended by Guzman.
This complex of species is fairly easy to identify. The mushrooms are generally cosmopolitan, and
virtually absent from virgin forest ecosystems. They thrive in sawdust and chips from alder and Douglas firs. The mushrooms are collybioid—forming clusters that resemble the Genus Collybia in habit
only. The caps are uniquely caramel to chestnut colored and strongly hygrophanous. The cap is featured with a separable gelatinous skin and brown gills which produce purple brown spores. The base
of the stems radiate clusters of thick white rhizomorphs. Upon bruising, the flesh turns bluish to dark
purple. These features separate this group of mushrooms from all others. This group can be further

delimited into two sub-groups: those possessing or lacking pleurocystidia. Species having
pleurocystida can be lageniform or fusoid-ventricose with a narrow or bulbous apex.
Description: Caps are hemispheric at first, soon convex, expanding to broadly convex and eventually
plane in age, 2-10 cm. in diameter. Caps are strongly hygrophanous, sometimes chestnut especially
when old or when the gills have fully matured. Cap margins are typically even at first, and straightening with age. Some varieties develop a pronounced, distinct and undulating margin. Other species in

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