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






first used by wild collectors—whether they
were aware of it or not.The trimmings from the
base of the stem, resplendent with thick white
rhizomorphs, quickly re-grows when placed in
contact with moist wood debris. Collectors of
wild mushrooms found this mushroom growing
in their backyards, aggressively seeking compost
piles, sawdust or straw mulched soils. With the ad-

vent of commercial spawn, debris mounds are
now designed and constructed with Stropharia
rugoso-annulata in mind.

Our family grows Stropharia rugosoannulata in two ways. Our preferred method is

to inoculate wood chips provided by our
county utility company. (We live in a rural area
with little automobile traffic.) The mixture of
wood chips is mostly alder, with some Douglas
fir and hemlock mixed in. Our only prerequisite is a minimum of leafy matter, which means
Figure 297. Azureus Stamets holding 4 lb. specimen
we like to acquire our chips before mid-April, a
of S. rugoso-annulata.
perfect time for inoculation. Trucks dump several loads of chips into a pyramidal pile. Using metal rakes (and a tractor), we spread the pile until it is
a depth of about one foot. (Down-hill sides of the pile can get up to three feet in depth. The exposed
surface face of the down-hill slope, provides adequate aeration and discourages activity from anaerobic organisms.) Upon this pile we use a 5 lb. bag of sawdust/chip spawn per 100 square feet as our
minimum inoculation rate and up to 4 units of spawn for a concentrated inoculation rate. For the first
four days, I heavily water using a standard yard sprinkler. Subsequently, I water for 1/2 hour in the
morning and evening, unless of course, it's been raining.
In two to three weeks, rhizomorphs can be detected in their first stages of growth. In eight weeks,
island colonies are distinct and abundant, usually separated by a few feet. The inoculated spawn creates island colonies which quickly become iceberg-like in formation, seeking the moist chips below
and stimulated by the bacteria and nutrients near the wood/soil interface. These pyramidal colonies
gradually expand to the surface. In twelve weeks, a large contiguous mycelial mat has formed. Pro-

vided that temperatures at ground level exceed 60° F. (15-16° C.), fruitings can be abundant
beginning in late July to the end of September. Stropharia rugoso-annulata, like Agaricus augustus,
the Prince, is a summer mushroom in the Pacific Northwest of NorthAmerica. The mycelium is, however, tolerant of extreme temperature swings, thriving in a 40-90° F. (4-32° C.) window.
Breaks or flushes of mushrooms can first be seen as smooth, reddish "stones", as if strewn into the
wood chips by a playful child. As soon as they are touched, you realize that these "stones" are primordia.And forprimordia, they are enormous, measuring aninch ortwo across.The cultivatoris well advised
to establish a standard walkway so that young mushrooms, unseen, are not crushed underfoot.

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