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






between two oppositely charged metal screens.
Many of the flies endemic to mushroom culture
are minute and pass, unaffected, between the

electrified panels. I prefer circular bug lights
which use an interior fan.A cone shaped vortex
is formed well beyond the light. The bugs are
thrown into a plastic bag which allows for easy
counting by the growing room manager. By attaching yellow sticky pads to the lights, the
number of flies that can be caught greatly increases. (See Figure 384). Astute managers rely
on the increasing numbers of flies as an indication
of impending disaster. These lights should be po-

sitioned on or beside every door within the
growing room, and especially in the rooms
prior to the growing rooms. Many of the fly
problems can be circumvented through some
of the good practices described below.

Managing the Growing
Rooms: Good Habits
for the Personnel
Integral to the success of a mushroom farm
is the daily management of the growing rooms.
The environment within the growing room is
constantly in a dynamic state of change. Events
can quickly cascade, drastically, and sometimes inalterably, affecting the outcome of the
crop. The daily activities of the personnel especially impact the quality of the crop. The head
cultivator can perfectly execute his or her du-

ties only to have employees unwittingly
sabotage the crop. In many cases, a simple re-

direction of the sequence of activities can
correct the problem. By consistently following

well defined rules of conduct, the growing
rooms can function to their fullest potential. I

recommend establishing a daily & weekly
schedule that defines the activities of the per-

sonnel. By following a calendar, the crew

becomes self-organizing according to the days
of the week.
1) Maintain personal hygiene. Shower every day. Wear newly laundered clothes. Avoid
contact with molds, soils, pets, etc. Body odors
are a result of growing colonies of bacteria.
Those with poor personal hygiene threaten the
stability of a farm. If employees can not maintain good personal hygiene, then they must be
2) Keep the property clean. Particular em-

phasis should be on removing any organic
debris that accumulates directly after a production run or harvest. All excess materials should
be placed in a specifically allocated, dry storage
location. Waste materials should be composted a
safe distance away from the production facility.

3) Minimize contact between growing
room managers and pickers or other workers. Growing room managers present the same
problem doctors do in hospitals: they spread
disease. All personnel should wash their hands

several times a day and/or wear gloves. The
growing room manager should point out contamination for workers to remove. The growing
room manager, unless alone, should not handle

contaminants. Furthermore, laboratory personnel and growing room personnel should not
share the same lunch room, a common site for
the re-distribution of contaminants.
4) Use foot-baths Step in disinfectant footbaths prior to going into each growing room.
Change baths daily.

5) Frequently wash down growing rooms
The activity most affecting the maintenance of a

growing room is its thorough washing down
once in the morning and once in the evening. After spraying the ceilings, walls, and floors with
water (untreated), any debris is directed to the

central drain channel, collected, and removed.

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