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






changes per hour required during the primordia

cold water lines should be positioned in a fash-

formation period, full humidification within

ion so that they are not damaged when the

the growing room is difficult if drawing in dry,
outside air. This problem is solved through the
conditioning of outside air in an intermediate
chamber called apreconditioning plenum. The
preconditioning plenum is usually located out-

steam lines are in operation. The goal here is to

side of the growing room. Its purpose is to

Some companies offer systems which utilize
compressed air (100-400 psi) misting systems

elevate humidity and alter temperature to levels
adjustable by the in-room environmental systems. One preconditioning plenum can supply
several growing rooms, if properly designed.

In cold climates or during the cold winter
months, the preconditioning plenum can be
largely humidified using steam. Steam provides both moisture and heat. Thermostats
located in the preconditioning plenum and/or
growing room activate solenoid valves on live

steam lines coming from an on-duty boiler.
Steam is sent downstream to a square-shaped
grid of interconnected pipes. Holes have been
drilled to orient the flow of steam towards the
center. The main air system blower pushes the
steam from the preconditioning box into the

growing rooms. Each growing room has its
own high volume axial fan which inflates the
ducting and distributes the humidified, and
heated air. Since moisture will collect in the
polyethylene ducting, provisions must be made
for removing this condensate. The simplest solution is to slant the duct at a slight angle. The

elevate humidity to 75-80% rH. Independent
humidifiers or mist nozzles located high in the
growing rooms control the remaining 25% of
the humidity required for primordia formation.

that emanate a fog-like cloud of humidity. With

proper filtration and maintenance these systems work equally as well although typically
are much more expensive to install.

Swamp coolers generate humidity and
lower temperature of the incoming air. They
work especially well when the outside air temperature is high and the humidity is low. These
types of evaporative coolers can also be incor-

porated into the design of a preconditioning
box. Heat exchangers must be carefully engineered for maximum effect. The cultivator is

encouraged to consult a reputable HVAC
(Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning) spe-

cialist before installation of any of the
above-mentioned systems. Often times, independent systems with manual-control
over-rides perform better, in the long run, than
all-in-one packages. The cultivator must have
alternatives for humidity should equipment fail
for any reason. The value of one saved crop can

easily offset the expense of a simple back-up

condensation can then drip directly into the
channel drain running lengthwise down the


center of the room. (See Figure 393.)
When temperature in the growing room ex-

mushroom cultivator. Once introduced, a

ceeds prescribed levels, the thermostat will

11) Insect control Flies are the bane of the
single, pregnant fly can give rise to hundreds of
voracious offspring in a few weeks. (For a com-

close the in-line solenoid valve. Humidity will
fall. A humidistat sensing the humidity in the
preconditioning plenum takes control, opening
a separate solenoid valve, sending cold water

plete description of the flies and their life

down-line, activating the mist nozzles. The

zappers" electrocute flies when they come in

cycles, please consult The Mushroom Cultiva-

tor (1983) by Stamets & Chilton.) Many
models of insect traps are available. "Bug

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