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





Good Clean Room Habits:
Helpful Suggestions for
Minimizing Contamination
in the Laboratory


if you have no option but to work when you are
6) Do not speak, exhale, or sing while con-

ducting inoculations. Your breath is laden
with bacteria that thrive in the same media de-

1) No shoes in the laboratory The lab is

signed for the mushroom mycelium. If you

strictly a "shoes-off' environment. Disposable

have a telephone in your laboratory, be aware
that it often becomes a redistribution point for

booties are often used over socks. No outer
clothing that has been exposed to the outside
air should be worn into the laboratory.

2) Wear newly laundered clothes and/or a
laboratory coat . Once your clothes have
come into contact with contaminants, these
contaminants will become airborne within the
laboratory. Two primary sources of contamination are people's pets and their car seats. Once
the laboratory personnel come in contact with
contamination sources, their usefulness in the
laboratory has been jeopardized.

3) Wash hands frequently with antibacterial soap and isopropanol. Personnel should
thoroughly wash their hands before entering
the laboratory and, with frequency, every 1/2

hour during the course of inoculations.
Isopropanol ("rubbing") alcohol is used for
wiping countertops, hands, and topically steril-

izing tools. Other disinfectants are available
from the hospital supply industry.

4) Frequently mop floors with a 10%
bleach solution. The lab floors should be
mopped at least once a week, and directly after
each major run. Two buckets are used: one for
bleach and one for rinsing the dirt-laden mop.
Mop heads should be frequently replaced.

5) Do not conduct inoculations when you

are sick with a cold, the flu, or other
contagious illnesses. I know of cases where
cultivators have inadvertently cultivated
Staphylococcus bacteria and re-infected themselves and others. Face masks should be worn

7) Remove trash and contaminated cultures daily. I do not have wastebaskets in my
laboratory, forcing me to remove trash constantly and preventing a site for contamination.

8) If cloning a specimen, never bring
sporulating mushrooms into the laboratory.
Ideally, have a second, small, portable laminar
flow hood specifically used for cloning. I use

this same laminar flow hood as a "Micron
Maid" to help kept airborne particulates at re-

duced levels in downstream environments.
New petri dish cultures from clones should be
wrapped with elastic film or tape to prevent the
escape of molds, bacteria, and mites into the

laboratory. If sporulating molds are visible,
isolate in a still-air environment.
9) Isolate cultures by placing


dishes on "sticky mats". I came up with this
innovation when fighting mites and trying to
prevent cross-contamination. Sticky mats are
also known as Decontamination Floor Pads.
See Figure 60.

10) Establish a daily and weekly regimen of activity. Daily and weekly calendar
schedules for managing the laboratory will
help give continuity to the production stream.
Since so many variables affect the outcome
of mushroom cultivation, try to establish as
many constants as possible.
11) Rotate spawn frequently. Do not let cultures and spawn over-incubate. Over-incubated
Oyster cultures are especially a hazard to the

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