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






Figure 323—324. Antler formation of Ganoderma lucidum is controlled by the carbon dioxide of the prevailing
environment. (ATCC# 52412)

Rapid Cycle System for Indoor Cultivation: A unique combination of variables can

orchestrated to effect fruitbody formation. The indoor method I have developed calls for spawn inoculation
onto a 50:50 (by volume) hardwood sawdust/wood chip mixture incubated in polyethylene space
bags. For 3-4 days, the hardwood (alder/oak) wood chips are soakedlfermented in molasses enriched
water (50 ml. molasses/S gallons water). After soaking, the 17.50 x 8.25 x 4.75 in. bags are filled to 3
lbs. wet weight. The bags are then sterilized for 2 hours at 15 psi. Upon cooling the bags are opened
within a clean room. Grain or sawdust spawn is distributed equally into each bag. The bags are exposed to the airstream from a laminar flow bench, causing partial inflation. Directly thereafter, the
bags are heat sealed. The bags appear domed or inflated. In effect, an idealized, positive pressurized,

humidified environment is created. Slow gas exchange occurs through the semipermeable
microporous filter media patch.
Colonization is usually complete in 14-21 days at 750 F. (24° C.). Thirty to forty days after inoculation, the first mushrooms begin to emerge from the rough micro-topography of the sawdust/chip
media. The emerging fruiting bodies are whitish to golden yellow in color and apically triangular in
shape. Growth is slow, yet noticeable from day to day. The tongue-like formations yellow with age,

and becoming progressively more reddish brown towards the base. By day 50 they have often
achieved 4 inches in length, are branched, having arisen from multiple sites on the surface plane of the
wood chip media. Frequently, these antler-stalks seek out the filter patch and become attached to it.
Once the desired height of stalk formation has been achieved, the environment must be altered so as to
proceed to the final stage. If the cultivator does not expose these emerging antlers to near-natural atmospheric conditions, the opportunity for conk development will soon be lost.
For the previous two months, the entire growth cycle has occurred within the environment of the
sealed plastic bag, wherein carbon dioxide and other gases exist in relatively high concentrations. Although the filter patch allows the slow diffusion of gases, it acts as a barrier to free air exchange. Often
the interior plenum has carbon dioxide levels exceeding 20,000 ppm or 2%. Once the bag is opened,
and a free rate of gas exchange prevails, carbon dioxide levels drop to near normal levels of 350 ppm
or .035%. This sudden change in carbon dioxide levels is a clear signal to Ganoderina lucidum that

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