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






Natural Habitat: An annual mushroom,
growing on a wide variety of woods, typically
on dead or dying trees, primarily on deciduous

woods, especially oak, maple, elm, willow,
sweetgum, magnolia, locust, and in the Orient,
on plums. Found on stumps, especially near the
soil interface, and occasionally on soils arising

from buried roots. Occurring from May
through November, and more common in
warm temperate regions. In the southeastern
and southwestern United States, Ganoderina
lucidum is frequently found in oak forests. In
the northeastern states, this species is most

Figure 321. Shaded log cultivation of Reishi in the
United States (Louisiana).

common in maples groves. This mushroom often rots the roots of aging or diseased trees, causing them to fall. (This is one of the "white rot" fungi
foresters know well.) From the darkened cavity of the upturned root wad, where carbon dioxide levels
are naturally higher and light levels are low, long stalked mushrooms arise. These rare, multi-headed,
antler-like forms are highly valued in Asia. (See Figure 316.)
Microscopic Features: Spores reddish brown, ellipsoid with a blunted end, roughened as in warty, 9two walled, with spaced, internal "inter-wall pillars". Cystidia absent. Clamp
12 x 5.5-8
connections present, otherwise hyphae aseptate. Hyphal system dimitic. Chlamydospores forming in
cultured mycelium.

Available Strains: Yellow, red, purple, and black strains are widely available from most culture libraries. New strains are easily cloned from the wild, best taken from young fruitbodies from the
central flesh leading to the disc or alternatively from the edge of the developing cap margin. Because
of their woody texture, a sturdy and razor-sharp surgical scalpel is recommended. Recovery or "leapoff' may take two weeks. Once in culture, many strains grow rapidly and fruit on sawdust substrates.
Each tissue culturist should note that those strains isolated from conifers may actually be Ganoderma
oregonense or Ganoderina tsugae. Forintek's 34-D produces a reddish brown fruitbody and is popular amongst North American cultivators. American Type Culture Collection's #524 12, which was
used as the isotype for a taxonomic discussion by Wright & Bazzalo (Mycotaxon 16: 293-295, 1982)
produces a multitude of rapidly grown antlers. (See Figure 323).
Each strain is unique in its pattern of growth from agar media-to-grain-to-wood based substrates .A
notable difference between strains is that one group, when over-incubated, makes grain spawn nearly
impossible to loosen into individual kernels upon shaking. The other, smaller group of strains allows
easy separation, even when over-incubated.

Mycelial Characteristics: Longitudinally radial, non-aerial, initially white, rapid growing, becoming densely matted & appressed, yellow to golden brown, and often zonate with age. Some strains
produce a brown hymenophore on MEA. A 1 cm. square inoculum colonizes a 100 x 15 mm. petri
plate in 7-10 days at 750 F. (24° C.). Soon after a petri plate is colonized (2 weeks from inoculation),

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