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




pasteurized for several hours. Because peanut
shells form subterraneously and are in ground
contact, they should be thoroughly washed be-

fore pasteurization. Sterilization may be
required if pasteurization is insufficient. The addition of 5% gypsum (calcium sulfate) helps keep

the substrate loose and aerated. Oyster mushrooms, in particular, thrive on this material.

Soybean roughage (Okara) Okara is the
main by-product of tofu and tempeh produc-


terns to, from and within the growing rooms are
crucial. Supplementation of outdoor beds risks
competition from contaminants and insects.
If supplementing a substrate, the sterilization

cycle should be prolonged. Sterilization must
be extended from 2 hours for plain sawdust at
15 psi to 4 hours for the same sawdust supplemented with 20% rice bran.
Supplemented sawdust, straw and compost

boiled soybean mash, Okara is perfectly suited

substrates undergo the rmo genesis, a spontaneous temperature increase as the mycelium and
other organisms grow. If this naturally occurring

for quick colonization by a wide variety of
mushrooms, from the Pleurotus species to
Ganoderma lucidum, even Morels. Several

biological combustion is not held in check, a
plethora of molds awaken as the substrate temperature approaches 100°F (38°C.). Below this

companies currently use Okara for generating
mycelium for extraction and/or for flavorings.
All of the above-mentioned materials can be

threshold level, these organisms remain dormant,

used to construct abase for mushroom production,
outdoors or indoors. A more expansive list could
include every primary by-product from agricultural
and forestry practices. To the imaginative cultivator, the resoumes seem almost limitless.

achieved, full colonization is often times success-

tion. Essentially the extracted roughage of

Supplementing the substrate can boost yields.

A wide variety of protein-rich (nitrogenous)
materials can be used to enhance the base sub-

strate. Many of these are grains or their
derivatives, like rice, wheat or oat bran, ground
corn, etc. Supplementing a substrate, such as
straw or sawdust, changes the number and the
type of organisms that can be supported. Most of
the raw materials used for growing the mush-

rooms listed in this book favor mushroom
mycelium and are nitrogen-poor. Semi-selectivity is lost after nitrogen supplements are added,
but ultimately mushroom yields improve. Therefore, when supplements are used, extra care is
required to discourage contamination and insure
success. Here good hygiene and good flow pat-

soon being consumed by the mushroom mycehum. Although true sterilization has not been

ful because the cultivator offsets the upward
spiral of temperature. Simply spacing spawn
bags or jars apart from one another, and lowering spawn room temperatures as thermogenesis
begins, can stop this catalytic climb. For many
of the gourmet wood decomposers, a temperature plateau of 75-85°F. (24-29° C.) is ideal.
The following supplements can be added at
various percentages of total dry mass of the bulk
substrate to enhance yields.
corn meal

cottonseed meal or flour
oat bran, oat meal
rice bran
rye grain
soybean meal & oil
spent grains from beer fermentation
(barley & wheat)
vegetable oils
wheat grain, wheat bran
nutritional yeast
The nutritional composition of these supple-

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