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 Method of Cultivation: Outdoors on buried logs or stumps. Logs or stumps are inoculated
via plug or sawdust spawn as described on page 34.

Fruiting Substrates: Indoors on hardwood sawdustlchips. 5% supplementation of the sawdust with
rice bran or sorghum enhances yields. From my experiences, I have found that over-supplementation
with rice bran, beyond 15% of the dry mass of the substrate, inhibits fruitbody development.

Recommended Containers for Fruiting: Polypropylene bottles, bags andlor similar containers.
Yields: From my experiments, yields on first flush average between 125-200 grams wet mass from
2200-2300 grams wet mass in 30-60(90) days via the rapid cycle system. (Fruitbodies are 80% water,
10% less in moisture content than fleshier fungi.) Second flushes 25-50% of first. Yields from log!
stump culture are approximately 1-2 lbs. per year.

Harvest Hints: If polypropylene bags are punctured, a stem-less conk is produced under well
lighted, low carbon dioxide conditions. With this strategy, a broad conk snaps off cleanly from a 1/4
inch hole. If stems are encouraged to form by raising carbon dioxide or lowering ambient lighting, the
mushrooms can be harvested by first twisting the stem base from the substrate and then trimming debris from the stem base. At 50% nil, mushrooms dry quickly in the open air at room temperature.
After the mushrooms have dried, some cultivators short-cycle sterilize their mushrooms by placing
them into the autoclave. This heat treatment retards or prevents the birth of any insect larvae from
eggs which may have been deposited during mushroom development.

Form of Product Sold to Market: Dried, whole mushrooms have been traditionally used in Oriental
medicine. However, many other forms are marketed, including in pill, tea, and tincture forms. Gin-

seng and Ling Chi are often extracted and combined in liquid form by a number of Chinese
pharmaceutical collectives. I have also seen cultured mycelium extracted for use in syrups. Antler
forms are often preserved as works of art, portrayed in museums or temples, handed down through
generations as family heirlooms, and even sold to tourists. (See Figures 315 and 316). Ling Chi is
used in beers and wines as a medicinallflavor additive is also popular in Japan and China.

Nutritional Content: Not known.
Medicinal Properties: For centuries, the Chinese and Japanese literature has heralded this mushroom for its health invigorating effects, especially attributing it with increasing longevity, treatment
of cancer, resistance and recovery from diseases. Himalayan guides have used this mushroom to
combat high altitude sickness. Mayan Indians have traditionally employed this mushroom (or a
closely related species) in teas to fight a variety of communicable diseases. Reishi has become the
natural medicine of choice by North Americans, and has become especially popular amongst
immunocompromised groups in recent years.
A complex group of polysaccharides have been isolated from this mushroom which reportedly
stimulate the immune system. One theory is that these polysaccharides stimulate helper "T" cell production which attack infected cells. Ganoderic acids have also been isolated from Ling Chi and
purportedly have anti-coagulating effects on the blood and lower cholesterol levels. (See Morigawa
et al., 1986). Most recently, studies have been published showing its modulating effects on blood

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