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






air. Soon the fish were striking the large mushrooms to dislodge the swollen larvae into the
water where they were eagerly consumed. After several days of feeding mushrooms to the
fish, the salmon would excitedly strike at the

King Stropharia in anticipation of the succulent, squirming larvae as soon as the
mushrooms hit the water. Inadvertently, I had
discovered that King Stropharia is a good base
medium for generating fish food.
Growing King Stropharia can have other
beneficial applications in permaculture. King
Stropharia depends upon bacteria for growth.
At our farm, which included a small herd of
Black Angus cows, I established two King
Stropharia beds at the heads of ravines which

Figure 34. Honey bees suckling on the mycelium of
Stropharia rugoso-annulata.

the air and suckling the sugar-rich cytoplasm
from the wounds. A continuous convoy of bees
could be traced, from morning to evening, from
our beehives to the mushroom patch, until the
bed of King Stropharia literally collapsed. When
a report of this phenomenon was published in
Harmwsmith Magazine (Ingle, 1988), bee keepers
across NorthAmerica wrote me to explain that they
had been long mystified by bees' attraction to sawdust piles. Now it is clear thebees were seeking the

underlying sweet mushroom mycelium.
King Stropharia is an excellent edible mush-

room when young. However, its edibility
quickly declines as the mushrooms mature. Fly
larvae proliferate inside the developing mush-

rooms. In raising silver salmon, I found that
when I threw mature mushrooms into the fishholding tank, they would float. Fly larvae soon
emerged from the mushrooms, struggling for

drained onto a saltwater beach where my neighbor commercially cultivates oysters and clams.
Prior to installing these mushroom beds, fecal
coliform bacteria seriously threatened the water quality. Once the mycelium fully permeated
the sawdust/chip beds, downstream fecal bacteria was largely eliminated. The mycelium, in

effect, became a micro-filtration membrane. I
had discovered that by properly locating mush-

room beds, "gray water" run-off could be
cleaned of bacteria and nitrogen-rich effluent.
Overall water quality improved. Massive mushrooms formed. (See Figure 35.) After three to
four years, chunks of wood are totally reduced
into a rich, peat-like soil, ideal for the garden.
For nearly 8 years I have continued to install
King Stropharia beds in depressions leading
into sensitive watersheds. Government agencies, typically slow to react to good ideas, have

finally recognized the potential benefits of
mycofi it ration. Test plots are currently being
implanted and monitored to more precisely de-

termine the effects on water quality. If
successful, I envision the widespread installation
of King Stropharia beds into basins leading into

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