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






room can also be used in stir fries. In either case, I prefer this mushroom well cooked.

King Stropharia should not be eaten for more than 2 or 3 days in a row. From European reports,
some individuals who daily consumed this mushroom, fail to rebuild the enzymes necessary for digestion, an event possibly activated by alcohol, resulting in a bad case of indigestion and/or nausea. I
know of one, formerly enthused King Stropharia grower, who grew several hundred pounds of this
mushroom, featuring it at summer garden parties. Upon his third day of imbibing, he was the only one
of twenty guests, to experience extreme gastrointestinal revolt. To this day, he now views King
Stropharia (and me) with great suspicion.
Comments: Stropharia rugoso-annulata is a mushroom with complex biological requirements, and
yet one of great utility for gardeners and recyclers. On sterilized malt agar media, the mycelium
grows anemically. On sterilized grain and sawdust, the mycelium grows out from the site of inocula-

tion for a few inches and then radically declines in its rate of growth. Unless the mycelium is
disturbed, growth falters. If at this stage, the grain or sawdust is disturbed, the mycelium recoils from
the concussion and bursts into a period of new growth. Often times, the mycelium must be disturbed
severaltimes to assure full colonization on sterilized substrates. When pasteurized sawdust is inoculated, the growth pattern is unhampered, unless green molds proliferate. The color of the sawdust
changes from a dark brown to a light yellow brown just prior to the appearance of the white

rhizomorphic mycelium.
Once the mycelium is implanted into wood chips outdoors, the mycelium undergoes a radical
transformation in its pattern of growth. The mycelium is activated by microflora in soils, particularly

bacteria. In response, thick cord-like and
braided rhizomorphs form This luxurious
mycelium spreads from the sites of inocula-

tion, and can travel substantial distances,
generating satellite colonies, often hundreds of
feet away from the mother colony. One mixed
wood chip bed I inoculated had a depth of one
to two feet, measuring approximately 20 by 30
feet in size. This patch yielded at least 200 lbs.
of mushrooms over its two year lifespan. After
3 years, the wood chips were rendered into a
rich soil-like humus. (See Figure 18).
Young specimens of this mushroom have an

excellent flavor. The flavor quality steadily,
nay, precipitously, declines as the mushroom
matures, evidenced by the darkening of the
gills, a sign of spores maturing. Once the thick

veil ruptures and the gills throw spores, the
mushroom rapidly looses any gourmet qualities. The mushrooms can weigh up to 5 lbs.

Figure 301. LaDena Stamets with King Stropharia
at the idea! stage for harvest.

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