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






long as it is wide. This configuration allows for
air to be distributed down a central duct-work.
The rectangular shape is naturally process-oriented: permitting the flow-through of substrate

materials and fresh mushrooms. Rectangular
rooms are simply easier to manage.
2) Interior walls The inside skin of a growing room must be built of water/mold resistant
materials. Fiberglass, polycarbonate, acrylic,

glass, galvanized metals can all be used for
interiorizing a growing room. The material of
choice, by most professional cultivators, is
called FRP for Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic.
This high temperature extruded fiberglass material has a smoothed finish, and its pliability
makes installation simple. Furthermore, FRP
will not be degraded by mold fungi, does not
out-gas toxic fumes, and is tolerant to most
cleaning agents. Wood or metal surfaces can be

painted with a mold/rust resistant glazing.
HammeriteTM, Exterior Varathane TM, or marine base enamel paints have been used in the
past with moderate success. Cultivators should
check with local ordinances so that the materi-

als used in their growing rooms fully comply
with food production and building code standards.
For those with limited budgets, the cheapest
material is polyethylene plastic sheeting used
by the greenhouse industry. This material usually survives no more than two or three years

under the conditions used for growing mushrooms. I have attached greenhouse sheeting
using galvanized staples over lengths of thick
plastic tape.
3) Doors As with the laboratory, the grow-

ing rooms should be protected from the
outside by at least two doors. The first door

from the outside leads into an operations
room or hallway where the second door
opens into the growing room. Doors should

Figure 390. The first growing rooms resembled
chicken houses. Reprinted from a 1929 USDA circular: The Mushroom Growing House.

be at least 4 ft. x 8 ft. Some farms have two 5
ft. x 10 ft. double-opening bay doors, or a 10
ft. x 10 ft. sliding door. These large doors al-

low the easy filling and emptying of the
growing rooms. A small door is sometimes
inner framed within one of the larger doors

so the growing room environment is not
jeopardized when only personnel need to enter. In any event, the doors should
accommodate small forklifts or similar ma-

chinery which need access to the growing
rooms. The doors should be made of a mate-

rial that does not support the growth of
molds. The bottom of the door is often fitted

with a brush-skirt that discourages insects
from entering. The door jams are usually
gasketed to assure a tight seal when closed.
At the opposite end of the growing room, a
similarly sized exit door should be installed.

This door facilitates the emptying of the
growing room after the cropping cycle has
been completed. To bring aged substrate,
which is often contaminated after the 4th or
5th flush, into the same corridor that leads to

other growing rooms presents a significant
cross-contamination vector.

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