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






The Deer Mushroom
Pluteus cervinus
Black Spored Silky Stems
Psathyrella spp.
The Caramel Capped Psilocybes
Psilocybe cyanescens & allies
The mushrooms in the Galerina autumnalis
andPhoiiotinafilaris groups are deadly poisonous. Some species in the genus Psilocybe
contain psilocybin and psilocin, compounds

which often cause uncontrolled laughter,
hallucinations, and sometimes spiritual experiences. Outdoor cultivators must hone their
skills at mushroom identification to avert the ac-

cidental ingestion of undesired mushrooms.
Recommended mushroom field guides and
mushroom identification courses are listed in
the Resource section of this book.

Methods of Mushroom
Mushrooms can be cultivated through a variety of methods. Some techniques are

exquisitely simple, and demand little or no
technical expertise. Others—involving sterile
tissue culture—are much more technically demanding. The simpler methods take little time,
but also require more patience and forgiveness
on the part of the cultivator, lest the mushrooms do not appear according to your
time-table. As one progresses to the more technically demanding methods, the probability of
success is substantially increased, with mushrooms appearing exactly on the day scheduled.
The simpler methods for mushroom cultivation, demanding little or no technical expertise,
are outlined in this chapter. They are: spore
mass inoculation, transplantation and inoculation with pure cultured spawn.

Spore Mass Inoculation
By far the simplest way to grow mushrooms
is to broadcast spores onto prepared substrates
outdoors. First, spores of the desired species
must be collected. Spore collection techniques
vary, according to the shape, size, and type of
the mushroom candidate.
For gilled mushrooms, the caps can be severed from the stems, and laid, gills down, on top
of clean typing paper, glass, or similar surface.
(See Figure 15.) A glass jar or bowl is placed
over the mushroom to lessen the loss of water.
After 12 hours, most mushrooms will have released thousands of spores, falling according to
the radiating symmetry of the gills, in an attractive outline called a Spore Print. This method
is ideal for mushroom hunters "on the go" who
might not be able to make use of the spores im-

mediately. After the spores have fallen, the
spore print can be sealed, stored, and saved for
future use. It can even be mailed without harm.
By collecting spores of many mushrooms, one
creates a Species Library. A mushroom hunter
may find a species only once in a lifetime. Under these circumstances, the existence of a spore
print may be the only resource a cultivator has for

future propagation. I prefer taking spore prints
on a pane of glass, using duct tape as binding
along one edge. The glass panes are folded together, and masking tape is used to seal the three
remaining edges. This spore book is then registered with notes written affixed to its face as to
the name of mushroom, the date of collection, the
county and locality of the find. Spores collected
in this fashion remain viable for years, although

viability decreases over time. They should be
stored in a dark, cool location, low in humidity
and free from temperature fluctuation. Techniques for creating cultures from spores are
explained further on.

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