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






Cereal Straws For the cultivation of Oyster
mushrooms, cereal straws rank as the most us-

able base material. Wheat, rye, oat and rice
straw perform the best. Of all the straws, I pre-

fer wheat. Inexpensive, readily available,
preserving well under dry storage conditions,
wheat straw admits few competitors. Further-

more, wheat straw has a nearly ideal shaft
diameter which selectively favors the filamentous cells of most mushrooms. Chopped into
1-4 inch lengths, the wheat straw needs only to
be pasteurized by any one of several methods.
The approach most easily used by home cultivators is to submerge the chopped straw into hot
water (160°F., 710 C.) for 1-2 hours, drain, and
inoculate. First, fill a metal barrel with hot tap
water and place a propane burner underneath.
(Drums should be food grade quality. Do not

use those that have stored chemicals.) A

Figure 38. Oyster mushrooms growing from my

sec ond method calls for the laying of straw onto

previous book, The Mushroom Cultivator.

a cement slab or plastic sheeting to a depth of
no more than 24 inches.The straw is wetted and

looser substrate whereas finer straws create
a denser or "closed" substrate. A cubic foot
of wetted straw should weigh around 20-25
lbs. Substrates with lower densities tend to
perform poorly. The cultivator must design a
substrate which allows air-exchange to the
core. Substrate dynamics are determined by
a combination of all these variables.

turned for 2-4 days, and then loaded into a
highly insulated box or room. Steam is introduced, heating the mass to 160° F. (710 C.) for
2-4 hours. (See Chapter 18 for these methods.)
The semi-selectivity of wheat straw, especially after pasteurization, gives the cultivator a

two-week "window of opportunity" to establish the gourmet mushroom mycelium. Wheat
straw is one of the most forgiving substrates
with which to work. Outdoor inoculations of
pasteurized wheat straw with grain spawn, even

Paper Products (Newspaper, Cardboard, Books, etc.) Using paper products as
a substrate base is particularly attractive to

those wishing to grow mushrooms where
sawdust supplies are limited. Tropical is-

when the inoculations take place in the openair, have a surprisingly high rate of success for
home cultivators.
Rye straw is similar to wheat, but coarser.
Oat and rice straw are finer than both wheat

examples. Paper products are made of pulped
wood, (lignin-cellulose fibers), and therefore

and rye. The final structure of the substrate
depends upon the diameter and the length of
each straw shaft. Coarser straws result in a

companies have switched to soybean-based
inks, reducing or almost eliminating toxic
residues. Since many large newspapers are

lands and desert communities are two
support most wood-decomposing mush-

rooms. In recent years, most printing

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