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






take into account prevailing wind direction,
sunlight exposure, shade, the positioning of the
wetting or compost slabs, the location of the
bulk substrate storage, and the overall flow patterns of raw materials and finished goods.
The major problem with having a laboratory
within a home is the kitchen —a primary

breeding ground for contamination. Rotting
fruits, food spoiling in the refrigerator, and gar-

bage containers represent a triple-barrelled
threat to the laboratory's integrity with the air
and the cultivator as carrier vectors. However,
good sterile technique coupled with the use of
HEPA filters, can make a home laboratory
quite functional for the small and mid-size cultivator. Most importantly, the cultivator must
have a heightened awareness of his/her path
through the sources of contamination before
attempting sterile tissue culture. I prefer to do

my laboratory work in the mornings after

showering and putting on newly washed
clothes. Once the lab work is completed, the
packaging and growing rooms can be entered
by the laboratory personnel. Otherwise, these
areas should be strictly off-limits. In a mushroom facility, duties must be clearly allocated
to each person. If you are working alone, extra
attention to detail is critical to prevent crosscontamination.

Design Criteria for A Spawn

The design criteria for constructing a spawn
laboratory is not complicated. A short description of my lab might help the reader understand
why it works so well. My laboratory is housed
in a 1440 sq. ft. building. A 15 HP boiler is located in its own room and generates steam for
the 54 in. diameter, 10 ft. long, double door retort. The walls and ceilings are covered with
FRP (Fiber Reinforced Plastic). The lights are

Figure 387. floor plan of a mushroom spawn laboratory. Most of the substrate enters the clean room
through the autoclave (mid-way left.) Spawn is ex-

ported from laboratory to the growing rooms.
Spawn is rotated frequently out of the laboratory.

covered with waterproof, dust-proof lenses.
Plug-ins for the remote vacuum system are
handy and well used. To enter, you must pass
through three doors before reaching the clean
room. In the clean room, a 2 ft. high by 12 ft.
long home-made laminar flow bench gives me
ample freedom of hand movement and surface
area. (See Figure 72.) Fresh, outside air is seri-

ally filtered and positive-pressurizes the lab
from overhead through a coarse pre-filter, an
electrostatic, and finally a 24 x 24 HEPA filter.
A return duct, recycling the room's air should
be on the floor but, I admit, is not. By locating
the return duct low in the laboratory, contaminants are constantly being pushed to and

skimmed off the floor. My laminar flow
bench—with its massive surface area—recir-

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