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






Harvesting the Crop
Simple guidelines prevail in the proper harvesting and storing of mushrooms. First, young
mushrooms last much longer after harvest than
aged mushrooms. Once spores have developed
on the face of the gills, perishability is accelerated. If mushrooms have partial veils, like the
Button Mushroom (Agaricus brunnescens) or

the Black Poplar Mushroom (Agrocybe

aegerita), they are best picked while the partial
veils are intact, in other words when the mushrooms are still young. Partial veils protect the
gills, limiting moisture loss, preventing spore
release, and rupture only as the caps expand.
The cultivator must constantly counterbalance maximum yield with marketability. The
comment I most often hear, after presenting my

Oyster mushrooms to a distributor who has
been purchasing them from afar, is "I didn't

Figure 377. Harvesting l'addy Straw mushrooms in

know Oyster mushrooms could look like this!"
Because Oyster mushrooms readily suffer from
shipping and handling, local producers can easily usurp the markets of distant growers. Oyster
mushrooms have a functional lifespan of only 5
days, after which marketability drastically declines.
Another rule is that clusters yield, pound for
pound, higher quality mushrooms than mushrooms grown individually. Bouquets of

mushrooms have obvious advantages, both

from the point of view of harvesting as well as
marketing. They can be picked with ease, needing minimum handling and trimming. Once
harvested, the mushrooms protect one another by
being bunched together. Harvesting mushrooms
in clusters limits the damage caused by individual,
loose mushrooms jostling against one another sub-

Figure 376. Harvesting clusters ot a cold weather,
dark Oyster strain. This strain is popular in China
and Japan.

sequent to harvest. Most importantly bouquets,
at the ideal stage for harvest, are composed of

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