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






empowering far more cultivators than ever before. Legions of creative individuals embarked

and then only when deemed necessary.
Certain limitations prevail in the expansion
of mycelium and its ability for colonizing new
substrates. The intensity or rate of inoculation
is extremely important. If the spawn is too dis-

on the path of exotic mushroom production.

persed into the substrate, the points of

Today, thousands of cultivators are contributing
to an ever-expanding body of knowledge, and

inoculation will be not be close enough to resuit in the rapid re-establishment of one, large,
contiguous mycelial mat. My own experiences
show that success is seen with an inoculation
rate of 5-50%, with an ideal of 20%. In other
words, if you gather a 5- gallon bucket of natu-

bags, collars and filters.* The Mushroom
Cultivator (Stamets and Chilton, 1983) decen-

tralized tissue culture for spawn generation,

setting the stage for the cultivation of many
gourmet and medicinal fungi of the future.
The advantage of using commercial spawn
is in acquiring mycelium of higher purity than

can be harvested from nature. Commercial
spawn can be bought in two forms: grain or
wood (sawdust or plugs). For the inoculation of
outdoor, unpasteurized substrates, wood-based

spawn is far better than grain spawn. When
grain spawn is introduced to an outdoor bed,
insects, birds, and slugs quickly seek out the
nutritious kernels for food. Sawdust spawn has
the added advantage of having more particles

or inoculation points per lb. than does grain.
With more points of inoculation, colonization
is accelerated. The distances between mycelial
fragments is lessened, making the time to contact less than that which happen with grain
spawn. Thus the window of vulnerability is
closed to many of the diseases that eagerly
await intrusion.
Before spawn is used, the receiving habitat
is moistened to near saturation. The spawn is
then mixed thoroughly through the new habi-

rally occurring mycelium, 20 gallons of
prepared substrate can be inoculated .Although
this inoculation rate may seem high, rapid colonization is assured. A less intensive inoculation
rate of 10% is often used by more skilled culti-

vators, whose methods have been refined
through experience. Inoculation rates of 5% or
less often result in "island" colonies of the implanted species interspersed amongst naturally
occurring, wild mushrooms.
At a 20% inoculation rate, colonization can

be complete in as short as one week and as
long as eight. After a new mycelial mat has been

fully established, the cultivator has the option
of further expanding the colony by a factor of
5, or triggering the patch into fruiting. This usu-

ally means providing shade and frequent
watering. Should prevailing weather conditions
not be conducive to fruiting and yet are above

freezing, then the patch can be further ex-

tat with your fingers or a rake. Once inoculated,

panded. Should the cultivator not expect that

the new bed is again watered. The bed can be

further expansion would result in full coloniza-

covered with cardboard, shade cloth, scrap

tion by the onset of winter, then no new raw
material should be added, and mushrooms

wood, or similar material to protect the mycehum from sun exposure and dehydration.After
inoculation, the bed is ignored, save for an occasional inspection and watering once a week,

In 1977, B. Stoller & J. Azzolini were awarded U.S.

patent #4027427 for this innovation.

should be encouraged to form. At the time when

mushrooms are forming, colonization of new
organic debris declines or abates entirely. The
energy of the mycelium is now channeled to
fruitbody formation and development.

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