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






Flammulifla velutipes (Enoki) and Galerina
autumnalis, I hesitate to recommend the cultivation of Enoki mushrooms on stumps unless the
cultivator is adept at identification. (To learn how
to identify mushrooms, please refer to the recommended mushroom field guides listed in
Appendix IV.)
Several polypores are especially good candidates for stump cultivation, particularly Grifola
frondosa—Maitake, andGanoderina lucidum—
Reishi and its close relatives. As the anti-cancer

properties of these mushrooms become better
understood, new strategies for the cultivation of
medicinal mushrooms will be developed. I envision the establishment of Maitake & Reishi
mushroom tree farms wherein stumps are purposely created and selectively inoculated for

maximum mushroom growth, interspersed

growth forests, cultivator-mycologists can play
an all-important role in saving the fungal genome
from the old-growth forest, a potential treasure
trove of new medicines.
Small-diameter stumps rot faster and produce
crops of mushrooms sooner than bigger stumps.
However, the smaller stump has a shorter mushroom-producing life span than the older stump.
Often times with large diameter stumps, mushroom formation is triggered when competitors
are encountered and/or coupled with wet weather
conditions.The fastest I know of a stump producing from inoculation is 8 weeks. In this case, an
oak stump was inoculated with plug spawn of
Chicken-of-the-Woods, Laetiporus (Polyporus)
suiphureus. Notably, the stump face was checkered—with multiple fissures running vertically

through the innermost regions of the wood.

amongst shade trees. Once these models are per-

These fissures trapped water from rainfall and

fected, other species can be incorporated in

promoted fast mycelial growth. As with the

creating a multi-canopy medicinal forest.
On a well-travelled trail in the Snoqualmie
Forest of Washington State, hikers have been
stepping upon the largest and oldest Polypore:
Oxyporus nobilissmus, a conk that growsup to
several feet in diameter and which can weigh
hundreds of pounds !This species grows only on
old growth Abies procera (California red fir) or
on their stumps. Less than a dozen specimens
have ever been collected. Known only from the
old growth forests of the Pacific Northwest, the
Noble Polypore's ability to produce a conk that
lives for more than 25 years distinguishes it from
any other mushroom. This fact- that it produces
a fruiting body that survives for decades—sug-

growing of any mushrooms, the speed of colonization is a detennining factor in the eventual
success or failure of any cultivation project.
For foresters and ecologists, actively inoculating and rotting stumps has several obvious
advantages. Rather than allowing a stump to be
randomly decomposed, species of economic or
ecological significance can be introduced. For
instance, a number of Honey mushrooms, belonging to the genus Armillaria, can operate as
both saprophytes or parasites. Should clear-cuts
become colonized with these deadly, root-rotting species, satellite colonies can be spread to
adjacent, living trees. Now that burning is in-

gests that the Noble Polypore has unique
anti-rotting properties from antibiotics or other
compounds that could be useful medicinally.
These examples from the fungal kingdom attract
my attention in the search for candidates having
potential for new medicines.With the loss of old-

creasingly restricted because of air pollution
concerns, disease vectors coming from stumpage could present a new, as yet unmeasured,
threat to the forest ecosystem.
The advantages of growing on stumps can be
summarized as:

1) Developing a new, environmentally

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