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






mushrooms. If a mushroom of choice is not in-

Cereal straws & grain hulls
Coffee plants & waste

troduced, a wild species from the natural

Tea leaves

these debris have a perfect opportunity for
growing a variety of gourmet and medicinal

Sugar cane bagasse
Banana fronds
Seed hulls (cottonseed and oil-rich
Hulls of almonds, walnuts, sunflower,
pecans, and peanuts
Soybean meal, roughage (Okara) &

environment will invade. The probability that
one of these invading wild mushrooms would
be a gourmet species is remote.
I prefer sawdust and wood debris as primary
substrate components. Deciduous woods, especially those which decompose quickly, are the
best. These fast-rotting woods, being less able
to resist disease, accelerate the mushroom life

soy waste
Artichoke waste
Cactus waste: saguaro & prickly pear;
yucca, agave*

cycle. Alder, cottonwood and poplar are favored
over the more resistant, denser woods such as
the oaks, maples, or ironwoods. Once the wood

sawdust is gathered, additional materials are
added to fortify the substrate. Three additional
factors affect the suitability of a mushroom
habitat: structural composition, pH and mois-

Suitable Wood Types:
Candidate Tree Species
A vast variety of woods can be used for grow-

ing gourmet and medicinal mushrooms.


The selection of the substrate components is
more critical for growing gourmet mushrooms
indoors than for growing outdoors. Commercial cultivators prefer the controlled conditions
of indoor cultivation whereas most home cultivators are attracted to outdoor natural culture.
Outdoor mushroom beds can be more complex,
composed of crude mixtures of components,
whereas for indoor cultivation, the uniformity
and consistency of the substrate is essential.

Raw Materials
Most by-products from agriculture and forestry
industries can makeup a base medium for mushroom culture. This base medium is commonly
referred to as the"fniiting substrate".This primary
material is often supplemented with a carbohydrate- and protein-rich additive to enhance yields.
Here is a short list of the materials that can be recycled into mushroom production.

Wood wastes, paper products

Generally speaking, the hardwoods are more
useful than the softwoods. Several wood types
may not perform by themselves, but when combined with more suitable woods—and boosted
with a nutritional supplement—will give rise to

commercially viable crops. Recommended
hardwoods are alders, birches, hornbeans,
chestnuts, chinkapins, beeches, ashes, larches,
sweetgums, tanoaks, cottonwoods, willows,
ironwoods, walnuts, elms, and similar woods.
Suggested softwoods are Douglas firs and hemlocks. Most other pines (ponderosa, lodgepole),
cedars, and redwood are not easily degraded by
mushroom mycelium. Aromatic hardwoods,
such as eucalyptus, are not recommended un-

til we better understand why some people
become ill from eating otherwise edible mush*

An Oyster mushroom, P/euro tus opuntiae. is native to

prickly pear, agave and yucca.Although I have not cultivated Oyster mushrooms on these cacti, they should
serve well as a substrate base.

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