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






move debris from the feet and enhances the

will be affected by the rate of fill and limited by

effectiveness of the foot bath.

the avenues of exhaust. The growing rooms
should always remain positive-pressurized to

7) Rate of air exchange Air exchanges control
the availability of fresh oxygen and the purging of

carbon dioxide from the respiring mushroom
mycelium. High air exchange rates may adversely
affect humidity, especially prior to and at primor-

limit contamination vectors from the outside. A
strip of cloth or plastic above the door jam works

well as a simple, visual indicator of positive

dia formation when there aerial mycelium

A 400-600 cfm thermal exhaust fan is rec-

abounds. Should aerial mycelial die back, or
"pan", potential yields are substantially de-

ommended for a growing room of the

pressed. On the other hand,

to prevent

malformation of the fruitbody, bacterial blotch,
and mold infestation, the movement of air—tur-

bidity—is a substantial factor in preventing
disease vectors.

The need for adequate air exchange is a direct reflection of the species being grown, its

rate of metabolism (as measured by CO2
generation), and the "density of fill". Fastgrowing, tropical strains generate more CO2
than cold weather strains due to their higher
rate of metabolism. The density of fill is the
fraction of space occupied by substrate vs. the

total volume of the growing room. Button
mushrooms growers often fill up to 1/4 of the
growing room space with substrate. This high
rate of fill is impractical with most gourmet
mushrooms. I recommend filling the growing

above-described dimensions. This fan is typically located at the apex of the growing room,
opposite the incoming air. A thermostat, preset by the cultivator to skim off excess heat,
activates this fan. Another fan, which I call a
"vortex fan" having a 200-400 cfm capacity,
is located below the thermal exhaust fan, usu-

ally at head level, above the exit door. The
vortex fan helps enhance the cyclonic entrainment of the air as it moves down the
growing room. Both fans should be covered,
from the inside, with a bug-proof, non-mudewing cloth. This cloth will prevent the entry of insects when the fans are not in operation. Furthermore, the thermal exhaust and

is near to the minimum required for gourmet
mushroom cultivation. At 2000 cfm, this same

vortex fan should have louvered shutters that
close when not in use.
This is but one configuration of a growing
room. Ideally, the growing room environment
acts as a giant wind tunnel, providing a homogeneously mixed atmosphere. Simplicity of
design makes operation easy. Each growing
room should be independently controlled so
that crops can be cycled and managed according to their stage of development.
8) Filtration of fresh air supply Fresh air is
brought in from the outside and passed through

room will be exchanged every 5 minutes, or 12
air exchanges per hour. I recommend designing
growing rooms which can operate within this
rate of air exchange, i. e. between 6-12 air exchanges per hour. The actual rate of air exchange

a series of ifiters. The growing rooms do not require the degree of filtration that is necessary for
the laboratory. Since the growing room will, at
times, have full air exchanges of 4-10 times per
hour, the filters must have sufficient canying ca-

rooms to no more than 1/6th, and preferably 1/8th
of capacity.
At 1000 cubic feet per minute (cfm) of free air
delivery, an empty 10,000 cubic foot room, will
be exchanged every 10 minutes, equivalent to 6
air exchanges per hour. This rate of air exchange

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