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





Available Strains: Strains from the wild, unlike those of Pleurotus, rarely produce under

artificial conditions. Of the strains I have tested
which have been obtained from culture libraries, deposited there by taxonomically
schooled, non-cultivator mycologists, 90% of
them do not fruit well on sterilized wood-based
substrates. Therefore, screening and development of strains is necessary before commercial
cultivation is feasible. Strains which produce

fruitbody initials in 30 days are considered
very fast. Most strains require 60-120 days of
incubation before primordia formation begins.
Mycelial Characteristics: White, longitudinally

linear, eventually thickly cottony on enriched agar
media, non-rhizomorphic. The mycelium grows

Figure 334. Mycologist Bill Chapman with a huge
Grifola frondosa, known to Americans as Hen-of-

out unevenly, not forming the circular colonies
typical of most mushrooms. Regions of the mycelium surge while other regions abate in their rate
of growth. This pattern of growth seems charac-

the-Woods and to Japanese as Maitake. This

teristic of the species, as I have seen it in the
majority of the 20 strains of G.fivndosathatl have

to weigh more than

in my culture library. Often times, the mycelium
develops light tawny brown tones along the out-

closely guarded secret. This patch consistently pro-

side peripheral edges in aging. At maturity, the
dense mycelial mat can be peeled directly off the
agar media. Once on sawdust, many strains have

specimen was 5 feet in circumference and
40 lbs. Growing from a stately

oak tree in a colonial graveyard in upstate New
York, the location of this mushroom patch is a

duces specimens of such magnitude and
occasionally generates 100 lb. clusters.

mycelia which develop strong yellowish to

metabolite. Sawdust spawn, when young, is
orangish brown mottled zones, exuding a yellowish orange
white. As the spawn matures, rust colors prevail.
farinaceous, sometimes sweet. To me, rye grain
Fragrance Signature: Richly fungoid and uniquely
day-old fried corn tortillas. When mushrooms begin to rot, a
spawn has a fragrance reminiscent of
strong fish-like odor develops.

of hardwood stumps or buried logs is recomand medicinal properties, this mushroom
mended. Given the size of the fruitbody, its gourmet
recycling stumps in hardwood forests. The occurrence
may well become the premier species for
curious, confirming that some strains exist in
of this mushroom on pines, Douglas fir, and larch is
dotting the timberlands of North America.
nature that could help recycle the millions of stumps
foresters would be wise to explore strategies
As forests decline from acid rain, future-oriented
Maitake and similar immuno-pOteflwhereby the dead trees could be inoculated and saprophytized by

Natural Method of Cultivation: The inoculation

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