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






that yields from mini-culture experiments often exceed average values from commercial
scale operations. I strongly encourage cultivators to increase their production levels slowly,
and according to their skills in both mushroom
technology and business management.
A number of organizations help growers find
markets for their mushrooms. Some co-operative marketing organizations coordinate

production and sales. Co-op marketing becomes a necessity when multiple growers
overwhelm local markets. (Refer to the Resource Guide, Appendix IV for a list of some
marketing organizations.) The United States
Department of Agriculture can sometimes assist growers in contacting marketing outlets.
I am a strong believer in growing mushrooms organically. Once certified organic, local
producers can sell mushrooms to natural food
co-ops and some up-scale grocery chains for a
premium. The restaurant trade, from my experience, seems little impressed whether or not the
mushrooms are organically grown. In either
case, the key to the financial success of a mush-

room farm centers on its ability to market mush-

rooms successfully. The person in charge of
marketing must foster a close, professional relationship with the buyers.
In Asia, marketing gourmet mushrooms has
benefited from a long tradition while in North
America gourmet mushrooms are a relatively
new phenomenon, having been available for
less than twenty years. (See Fan, 1983.) With
more growers coming into production, the markets are likely to fluctuate in response to the

sudden increase in the availability of mushrooms. Cycles of over- and under-production
are typical in any new, expanding marketplace
and should be expected. Growers must adapt
their production schedules and product lines so
they do not become over-extended. As the public becomes increasingly aware of the health
stimulating properties of mushrooms, markets
should expand enormously. Those growers who
are able to survive this early period of market
development will become key players in an industry that is destined to become a centerpiece
of the new environmental economy.

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