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






rooms growing from this source. (Arora, 1990.)
Cedars and redwoods are likewise not recommended as they decompose slowly due to their
anti-rotting compounds. Obviously, these same

chips, a fortuitous situation for mushroom cultivators .A matrix of smaller and larger particles
can be combined to create an ideal habitat for

compounds stifle the growth of mushroom

quick growth ("leap-off'). The larger particles
encourage the mycelium to form thick, cordlike strands, called rhizomorphs, which

Other woods than those listed may prove to be
satisfactory. Hence, experimentation is strongly

mycelium. The smaller particles stimulate

forcibly penetrate through and between the

encouraged. I find that the fast-growing, rapidly de-

cells.The larger chips become nutritional bases,

composing hardwoods are generally the best
because they have greater ratios of starch-enriched sapwood to heartwood. These sugars
encourage rapid initial growth, resulting in full

fruiting platforms, giving rise to super-large

colonization in a short period of time. The key to
successful cultivation is to match the skills of the
cultivator with the right strain on the proper substrate under ideal environmental conditions.

For outdoor log culture, disease-free logs
should be selected from the forest in the winter or early spring. If you use sawdust and chips

for indoor or outdoor cultivation, freshness

mushrooms. This concept has been an overrid-

ing influence, steering my methods, and has
resulted, for instance, in the large 5 lb. specimens of Stropharia rugoso-annulata, the
Garden Giant, that is pictured in this book. A
simple 50:50 mixture (by volume) of sawdust
and chips, of varying particle sizes, provides the

best structure for the mushroom habitat. The
substrate matrix concept will be explored in
greater detail later on.
Cultivators should avoid wood chips origi-

counts—or else competitors may have already
taken hold. Lumber mills, pulp mills, furniture
manufacturers, and many other wood productcompanies generate waste usable to the mush-

nating from trees along busy roadways.

room cultivator. However, those industries
which run mixed woods and do not separate

als can be concentrated by the mushroom

their sawdust into identifiable piles, are not rec-

ommended as substrate suppliers. Cultivators
face enough problems in their struggle to understand the different yields of each crop cycle.
Hence, mixed wood sources are best avoided,
if possible.
Red alder (Alnus rubra) is a "weed tree" in
western Washington State of North America.
Like poplars and cottonwoods, its penchant for
valleys, wetlands and open habitats encourages
a prodigious growth rate. Many of these trees
are common along roads where they foul telephone and electrical lines.A whole industry has
arisen dedicated to rendering these trees into

Automobile exhaust and leachate from the oilbased asphalt contaminate the surrounding soil
with toxins, including lead and aluminum. Met-

mycelium and transferred to the mushrooms.
Wood chips from county roads with little traffic are less prone to this heavy metal
contamination.This problem is largely circumvented by obtaining sawdust and chips from
larger diameter trees. Sawmills and pulp chip
companies provide the cleanest source of wood
debris for substrate preparation.

Currently, the heavy metal concentrations
taken up by mushrooms are well below the stan-

dards set by the United States government for
fish, for instance. However, air pollution is a
growing concern. My analyses of mushrooms
grown in China, California, and Washington
state revealed that the Chinese mushrooms had

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