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






are, by definition, temporary communities.
King Stropharia lasts three to four years on
a hardwood chip base. After the second year
more material should be added. However, if the
health of the patch has declined and new material is mixed in, then the mushroom patch may
not recover to its original state of vigor. Myce-

hum that is healthy tends to be tenacious,
holding the substrate particles together. This is

especially true with Stropharia and Oyster
mushrooms. (Hericium erinaceus and
Morchella spp. are exceptions.) Over-incubation results in a weakened mycelial network
which is incapable of holding various substrate
particles together. As mycelial integrity declines, other decomposers are activated. Often,
when mixing in new material at this stage, weed

Figure 17. Healthy Stropharia rugoso-annulata
mycelium tenaciously gripping alder chips and saw-

fungi proliferate, to the decided disadvantage
of the selected gourmet species. To the eye, the
colony no longer looks like a continuous sheet

dust. Note rhizomorphs.

The mycelium of saprophytic mushrooms
must move to remain healthy. When the mycehum reaches the borders of a geographically or

nutritionally defined habitat, a resting period
ensues. If not soon triggered into fruiting, over-

incubation is likely, with the danger of
"die-back. "Only very cold temperatures will
keep the patch viable for a prolonged period.
Typically, die-back is seen as the drastic decline
in vigor of the mycehium. Once the window of

opportunity has passed for fruiting, the mush-

room patch might be salvaged by the
re-introduction of more undecomposed organic

matter, or by violent disturbance. The mycehum soon becomes a site for contamination
with secondary decomposers (weed fungi) and
predators (insects) coming into play. It is far

better to keep the mycelium running until
fruitings can be triggered. Mushroom patches

Figure 18. From the same patch, three years later, the
wood chips have decomposed into a rich soil-loam.

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