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






lab's integrity. After 3-4 weeks, Oyster mushrooms will fruit within their containers, often

policy than dealing with contaminants after the

forcing a path through the closures. If unnoticed,
mushrooms will sporulate directly in the laboratory, threatening all the other cultures.

signed, the cultivator and his/her helpers

No matter how well the laboratory is deultimately hold the key to success or failure.

The laboratory's health can be measured by
the collective vitality of hundreds of cultures,
the lack of diseases, and the diversity of strains.
Once filled to capacity with the mycelia of vari-

Each individual can differ substantially in

ous species, the lab can be viewed as one

eliminated all the vectors of contamination ex-

thermodynamically active, biological engine.
The cultivator orchestrates the development of
all these individuals, striving to synchronize
development, en masse, to meet the needs of
the growing rooms.
Success in mushroom cultivation is tantamount to not cultivating contaminants.
Confounding success is that you, the caretaker
cultivator, are resplendent with legions of mlcroflora. Individuals vary substantially in their
microbial fall-out. Smokers, pet owners, and
even some persons are endemically more contaminated than others. Once contamination is
released into the laboratory, spores soon find
suitable niches, from which a hundred-fold
more contaminants will spring forth at the earliest opportunity. As this cycle starts, all means
must be enacted to prevent outright mayhem.
Contamination outbreaks resemble dominos
falling, and is soon overwhelming to all but the
most prepared. The only recourse is the mandatory shutting down of the entire
laboratory—the removal of all incubating cul-

tures, and the necessary return to stock
cultures. After purging the lab of virtually everything, a strong solution of bleach is used for
repetitive cleaning in short sequence. Three
days in row of repetitive cleaning is usually
sufficient. Clearly, prevention is a far better

their potential threat to a clean room. Here's a

poignant example. At one time when contamination was on an upward spiral, I had
cept one: the MCU's, mobile contamination
units—which includes people and other mobile

organisms. Determined to track down the
source, I brought in an expensive airborne particulate meter, used commonly by the

computer industry to judge the quality of
clean rooms. This unit measured airborne
contamination per cubic meter through a
range of particle sizes, from .10 microns to
>10 microns.
Several fascinating results were observed.
One obvious measurement was that, in a calm

air room, 100 times more particulates were
within one foot of the floor than were within a
foot of the ceiling. Truly, the air is an invisible
sea of contaminants. What was most surprising
was the contamination fall-out from each employee. Standing each employee in the
airstream coming from the laminar flow bench,
I recorded downwind particle counts. The contamination source was immediately identified:
an employee was generating nearly 20 times

the contamination fall-out than anyone else.
The dirty employee was summarily banned
from the laboratory. Soon thereafter, the integrity of the laboratory was restored... The lesson

learned— that humans carry their own universe of contaminants—and are the greatest
threat to clean room integrity.

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