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






anti-condensate, gas-permeable films must be

carefully matched with a cardboard base or
strawberry-like basket. Even with shelf life
being extended, mushrooms should be rotated
through stores at least twice weekly to ensure
the highest quality product. Oyster mushrooms
in particular are quick to spoil.

The greatest insult to marketing gourmet
mushrooms can be seen by vendors who buy
large quantities of Oyster mushrooms from production factories whose main concern is yield,

not quality. Oyster, Enoki, and other mushrooms, when they spoil, cause severe

Figure 380. An example of poor packaging. Note
mushrooms lie on Styrofoam base. They were covered with plastic. This package was photographed

directly after purchase. This is the "sajor-caju"
strain of Pleurotus pulmonarius. Thousands of primordia are forming on the adult mushrooms as they
rot. Mushrooms in this condition, if eaten, cause se-

vere cramping, diarrhea, and gastro-intestinal

loose, the gourmet mushrooms, being more
fragile, are best sold packaged.
Covered with clear, anti-condensate, breathable plastic, mushrooms can be preserved for
extended periods of time. A patent was awarded
to Asahi-Dow Ltd. for a vapor-permeable film
specifically designed for extending the shelf of
Shiitake. (See Japanese Patent # 57,163,414
(82,163,414)). The rate of diffusion of carbon
dioxide giving the best results was within 500040,000ml./sq. m. at atmospheric pressure over
24 hours. The optimal range of oxygen diffusion was 2000-20,000 mi/rn2 at atmospheric
pressure in 24 hours. This new generation of

abdominal cramping, nausea, and gastrointestinal upset. (See Figure 380.) Once customers
have experienced these"gourmet" mushrooms,
they are unlikely to ever buy them again. Remember, mushrooms are first suspected and
first blamed for any type of food poisoning,
whether they are at fault or not. (For more information on the proper handling of

mushrooms after harvesting, please consult
Murr&Morris, 1975.)

Drying Mushrooms
By drying mushrooms, cultivators recapture
much of the revenue that would otherwise be
lost due to over-production. Most mushrooms
are approximately 90% water. Reishi mush-

rooms, being woody in texture, are usually
between 70-80% water. When Shiitake are
grown outside, especially in the Donko
(cracked cap) form, moisture content is often
only 80%.When mushrooms are young, moisture contents are usually higher than when they
are mature. Mature mushrooms, with their gills
exposed, dry faster than young, closed mushrooms.
Shiitake, Oyster, Morels, Reishi, and many
other mushrooms dry readily and can be stored for

many months. Mushrooms can be sold in their

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