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






species, the mass of final substrate is a mere
fraction of the original fonnula. The end material is reduced to a soft loam and is best used for
compost or soil enhancement.

After running several species through the
same substrate, Chang & Miles (1989, p.132)
found that the net available nitrogen in the
waste substrate actually increased, proportionately. Using cotton waste, the total nitrogen of
the fresh compost waste was 0.63%. After the
Paddy Straw mushroom produced on it, the residual nitrogen become 1.54%. After taking

this same waste substrate and inoculating it
with Oyster mycelium (P. ostreatus var.
florida), the nitrogen increased to 1. 99%. (The
effect that spawn had on the substrate was not
described. A 10% spawning rate with rye could
substantially affect these figures. If "substrate
spawn" was used, the net effect would be much
less.) The end result of species sequencing is
the production of a rich humus, ideal for gar-

dening. This concept is further incorporated
into the permaculture model described in
Chapter 5.
The sequence of species introduction, however, is most important. The Shiitake model is
the easiest to understand. After Shiitake mush-

rooms stop producing on supplemented
sawdust/chips, the now-blackened blocks are
broken apart until they resemble sawdust in
texture. Calcium sulfate andlor carbonate enhance particle separation, drainage, and adjusts
the pH to the 6.5 -7.5 range. (Try 1 cup of gypsum/chalk for every twenty blocks and adjust
accordingly.) The type of wood initially used
becomes the overriding factor affecting proper
formulation. Water is slowly added until good
moisture is achieved. I prefer a moisture content of 60-65%, less than the ideal 75%. Higher
moisture contents often result in a higher percentage of bags spoiling due to fermentation

The now-moistened sawdust mixture is filled into
polypropylene bags or other suitable containers,
and sterilized. If water collects at the bottoms of
the bags, then the substrate is too moist.

After sterilizing, the bags are inoculated
according to the procedures in this book. I
have found that Oyster mushrooms grow profusely on the waste Shiitake substrate with no
need for amendment. King Oyster and
Maitake also fruit, although 10% supplementation with rice bran or corn substantially
improves yields. After the second species in
sequence has run its course, the waste sub-

strate is collected, re-mixed, sterilized, and

finally inoculated with King Stropharia
(Stropharia rugoso-annulata) or Shaggy
Mane (Coprinus comatus). However, if the
spent substrate is under-sterilized and/or too
much water is added at make-up, contamination during incubation is likely. Keep in mind
that waste substrates host far more microorganisms than fresh sawdust. Hence,
sterilization may have to be prolonged to insure killing all the resident contaminants.
Each time one of the above species (except
Stropharia rugoso-annulata) is grown through
the sterilized, sawdust-based substrate approximately 10% of the dry mass (=25% wet
weight) yields fresh mushrooms. Depending
upon the species and many other variables, be-

tween 20-40% of the dry mass evolves into
gases, mostly carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and

ethylene. The first species, in this case
Shiitake, easily produces 1.5 lbs. of mushrooms from the original 6 lb. substrate (75%
moisture). At least 1.5 lbs. is lost through carbon dioxide evolution and evaporation. At the
end of the Shiitake fruiting cycles, a 3 lb. waste
substrate remains with a moisture content ap-

proaching 50%. After Oyster mushroom
mycelium has taken its turn, the substrate un-

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