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






A. polytricha is mostly referred by the name "Kikurage". Most cultivators not trained in the skills of
taxonomy are likely to pass on the mistaken identifications of those before them. With the many "varieties" of Wood Ears circulating, the need for interfertility studies and DNA comparisons is evident.
According to Wong & Wells (1987), the proper name for the cultivated A. polytricha should be
Auricularia cornea (Ehr. :Fr.) Ehr. ex EndI. Until I can further study these taxa and their arguments, I

am retaining the name A. polytricha for this mushroom. Another closely related species is
Auriculariafuscosuccinea (Montagne) Farlow, the most common Wood Ear in the southeastern
United States. This mushroom is rosy to reddish brown and minutely hairy on its outer surface (with
hairs measuring 80 x 5 ii). This species is distributed as far south as Argentina.
Description: A gelatinous cup fungus, ear-shaped, generally purplish grayish brown to dingy brown,
2-15 cm. broad, sessile. Covered by a medulla of fine hairs. Surface smooth, wrinkled towards the
center and upturned towards the outer edges. Firmly gelatinous in texture. Readily rehydrating true to
Distribution: Varieties of Wood Ears grow throughout the temperate hardwood forests of the world.

Natural Habitat: On conifer or hardwood logs or stumps, especially oaks, willows, locust, mu!berry, acacia and other broad-leaf trees. Commonly occurring in soils rich in wood debris during the
cool wet seasons throughout the temperate forests of the world. This mushroom generally favors cool
weather and grows from sea-level to tree-line.

Microscopic Features: Spores white in deposit, otherwise hyaline, cylindric to sausage shaped, 1114(17.5) x 4-6 Clamp connections present.
Available Strains: Strains are available from most culture libraries. Wild specimens abound and can
be easily brought into culture. Strains of A. auricula and A. polytricha are often mis-labelled due to
the difficulty in separating these taxa from one another.

Mycelial Characteristics: Longitudinally linear, thickening with age to form a dense cottony white
mycelial mat, becoming mottled with brown discolorations in age.

Fragrance Signature: Unpleasant, musty, reminiscent of a raw compost.
Natural Method of Cultivation:The most common technique used inAsia has been to cut logs 3 feet
or a meter in length, 5-12 inches in diameter, in the late fall to early spring. The logs are simply drilled
with holes and spawn is pack tightly into the cavities. I prefer to inoculate logs with sawdust spawn
that is packed into chain-saw cuts a foot apart. The logs are kept moist in a shaded, well ventilated
forest. To initiate mushroom formation, the logs are submerged in water for 24 hours.

Recommended Courses for Expansion of Mycelial Mass toAchieve Fruiting: From liquid inoculated Grain Masters, a 2nd generation of grain spawn in gallon jars can be inoculated. Each gallon jar
of spawn can inoculate 105 lb. bags of sawdust supplemented with rice bran. Chopped corn and rye
flakes can also be used as supplements.
Suggested Agar Culture Media: MYA, MYPA, PDA, PDYA or DFA.

1st, 2nd & 3rd Generation Spawn Media: Millet, milo, rye, wheat or sorghum all support the for-

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