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






recycling, data on toxin residues is readily
available. (If the data can not be validated, or
is outdated, the use of such newsprint is not

recommended.) Since the use of processed
wood fiber may disqualify a grower for state

organic certification, cultivators in the
United States should check with their Organic Certification Director or with their

manner not to encourage composting. Once weed
fungi, especially black and green molds, begin to
proliferate the suitability of these base materials

is jeopardized. At present, the only mushrooms
demonstrating commercial yield efficiencies on
banana and coffee pulp are warm-weather strains

of Oyster mushrooms, particularly Pleurotus
citrinopileatus, Pleurotus cystidiosus, Pleurotus

State Department of Agriculture before ven-

djamor Pleurotus ostreatus and Pleurotus

turing into the commercial cultivation of
gourmet mushrooms on paper-based waste
products. If these preconditions can be sat-

pulmonarius. For more information on the cultivation of Oyster mushrooms on coffee waste,

isfied, the would-be cultivator can tap into an
enormous stream of cheap materials suitable
for substrate composition.

Carrera (1987).
Sugar cane bagasse Sugar cane bagasse is the
major waste product recovered from sugar cane
harvesting and processing. Widely used in Ha-

Corncobs & cornstalks Corncobs (sans
kernels) and cornstalks are conveniently
structured for rapid permeation by mycelium.

Their cell walls and seed cavities provide a
uniquely attractive environment for mycelium. Although whole corncobs can be used
directly, a more uniform substrate is created
by grinding of corncobs to 1-3 inch particles
using hammer-mill type chipper-shredders.
After moistening, the corn roughage can be

cooked for 2-4 hours at

F. to

achieve pasteurization. If the kernels are still

on the cob, sterilization may be necessary.
Cornstalks, having a lower nutritional content, are less likely to contaminate.
Coffee & banana plants In the subtropical

and tropical regions of Central and South
America, the abundance of coffee and banana
leaves has spurred mycologists to examine their
usefulness in growing gourmet mushrooms.
The difficulty in selecting any single plant material from warm, humid regions is the speed of
natural decomposition due to competitors. The
combination of high humidity and heat accelerates

decomposition of everything biodegradable.
Leaves must be dried, shredded, and stored in a

please refer to Thielke (1989), or Martinez-

waii and the Phiffipines by Oyster growers, sugar
cane bagasse needs only pasteurization for cul-

tivating Oyster mushrooms. Some Shiitake
strains will produce on sugar cane residue, but
yield efficiencies are low compared to wood-

based substrates. Since the residual sugar
stimulates mycelial growth and is a known trigger to fruiting, sugar cane residues are good
complements to wood-based substrates.
Seed hulls Seed hulls, particularly cottonseed
hulls, are perfect for their particle size and their
ability to retain water. Buffered with 5-7% calcium sulfate and calcium carbonate, cottonseed

hulls simply need wetting, pasteurization and
inoculation. Cottonseed hulls, on a dry weight
basis, are richer in nitrogen than most cereal
straws. Many Button cultivators consider cotton-

seed hulls a supplement to their manure-based
composts. On unamended seed hulls, Oyster and
Paddy Straw are the best mushrooms to grow.
Peanut shells have had little or no value ex-

cept, until now, to mushroom growers. The
peanut hulls are rich in oils and starch which
stimulate mushroom growth.The shells must be
chipped into 1/4 to 3/4 inch pieces, wetted, and

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