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







a large blower located at one end. Trays with
fresh mushrooms are moved into the wind tun-

nel furthest downstream. The fully dried
mushrooms are retrieved through an overlapping "flap-door" nearest to the fan. For most
cultivators, this type of commercial dehydrator
does not require a heat source. The huge volume

of air removes the moisture through evaporation.

Depending upon the species and the final
product desired, mushrooms can be placed gills

down or gills up. By placing Shiitake mushrooms with their gills down, the mushrooms
remain flatter in drying and take on a more

brittle texture. Most experienced Shiitake
growers find that by drying mushrooms, gills
facing up, that the cap curls inwards, giving the
mushroom an overall tighter and more resilient
texture. This form is the one most recognized
by Asians.
Dried mushrooms are then packaged, sometimes shrink-wrapped into plastic bags, and
usually sold in 3—5 ounce packages. In most
cases, the shelf life of dried mushrooms is about
a year. If there is any danger of fly larvae or insect infestation, low pressure steam sterilization

is recommended.

Marketing the Product
In the United States, markets for fresh mushrooms have surged over the past 30 years, from
a total market value of $68,000,000 in 1969 to

$665,000,000 in 1992. Fresh gourmet mushrooms were virtually unavailable in 1980. In
1992, gourmet mushrooms represented
$17,000,000 of total fresh mushroom sales, a
22% increase over the same period from the previous year. The average price for Shiitake in 1992
was $4.11 per pound and Oyster mushrooms sold
for $3.66 per pound. (Approximately four times

as many Shiitake are sold in this country than

Figure 382. 1(1-kilogram bags of dried Shiitake displayed for sale in a market in China.

Oystermushrooms.)In comparison, the average
price for Button mushrooms for the same period was an astounding $ .87 per pound. The
upward trend in terms of price, production, diversity and markets is expected well into the
future. *
Before producing mushrooms on a cominer-

cial level, the cultivator is advised to conduct
mini-trials. With a little experimentation, the
cultivator can refine his techniques. Each failure and success is useful in determining the
proper mushroom strain, substrate formula,
temperature tolerance, lighting level, harvesting methods, and marketing strategies. Note

Data derived from Mushrooms, August, 1992,

Agricultural Statistics Board, National Agricultural
Statistics Service, United States Department of
Agriculture, Washington, D.C. See Resource section
in the appendix.

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