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






of mycelium, but becomes spotty in its growth

pattern. Soon islands of mycelium become
smaller and smaller as they retreat, eventually
disappearing altogether. The only recourse is to
begin anew, scraping away the now-darkened
wood/soil, and replacing it with a new layer of
wood chips and/or other organic debris.

When to Inoculate an
Outdoor Mushroom Patch
Outdoor beds can be inoculated in early
spring to early fall.The key to creating a mush-

room bed is that the mycelium must have
sufficient time to establish a substantial mycehal mat before the onset of inclement weather

conditions. Spring time is generally the best
time to inoculate, especially for creating large
mushroom patches. As fall approaches, mush-

room beds more modest in size should be
established, with a correspondingly higher rate of

inoculation. For most saprophytic species, at
least four weeks are required to form the myceha! network with the critical mass necessary to
survive the winter.

Most woodland species survive wintering
temperatures. Woodland mushrooms have
evolved protective mechanisms within their cel-

lular network that allow them to tolerate

of where you have seen mushrooms growing
during the rainy season. Or just observe where
water traverses after a heavy rain. A gentle
slope, bordered by shrubs and other shade-giving plants, is usually ideal. Since saprophytic
mushrooms are non-competitive to neighboring plants, they pose no danger to them. In fact,
plants near a mushroom bed often thrive—the
result of the increased moisture retention and
the release of nutrients into the root zone.
An ideal location for growing mushrooms is

in a vegetable, flower, and/or rhododendron
garden. Gardens are favored by plentiful watering, and the shade provided by potato, zucchini,
and similar broad-leaf vegetable plants tend to
keep humidity high near the ground. Many gardeners bring in sawdust and wood chips to make
pathways between the rows of vegetables. By
increasing the breadth of these pathways, orby

creating small cul-de-sacs in the midst of the
garden, a mushroom bed can be ideally located
and maintained (see Figure 14).
Other suitable locations are exposed north
sides of buildings, and against rock, brick, or
cement walls. Walls are usually heat sinks,
causing condensation which provides moisture
to the mushroom site as temperatures fluctuate
from day to night. Protected from winds, these

temperature extremes. Surface frosts usually do

locations have limited loss of water due to

not harm the terrestrially bound mushroom
mycelium. As the mycelium decomposes organic matter, heat is released, which benefits
subsurface mycelium. Mycelial colonization
essentially stops when outdoor temperatures


fall below freezing.

Site Location of a
Mushroom Patch
A suitable site for a mushroom patch is easy
to choose. The best clue is to simply take note

Mushrooms love moisture. By locating a
mushroom bed where moisture naturally collects, colonization is rapid, more complete, and
the need for additional water for fruiting is minimized. The message here: choose your locations
with moisture foremost in mind. Choose shady
locations over sunny ones. Choose north-facing
slopes rather than south-facing. Choose companion plants with broad-leafs or canopies that shade
the mid-day sun but allow rain to pass. The dif-

ference in results is the difference between a

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