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







Many of the techniques described in this
book will give yields substantially higher than
100% B. E. Up to 1/2 conversion of wet substrate mass into harvestable mushrooms is
possible. (I have succeeded in obtaining such
yields with sets of Oyster, Shiitake, and Lion's
Mane. Although 250% B. B. is exceptional, a
good grower should operate within the 75125% range.) Considering the innate power of
the mushroom mycelium to transform waste
products into highly marketable delicacies, it is
understandable why scientists, entrepreneurs,
and ecologists are awestruck by the prospects
of recycling with mushrooms.
Superior yields can be attained by carefully
following the techniques outlined in this book,
paying strict attention to detail, and matching
these techniques with the right strain. The best
way to improve yields is simply to increase the
spawn rate. Often the cultivator's best strategy

is not to seek the highest overall yield. The
first, second, and third crops (or flushes) are
usually the best, with each successive flush de-

creasing. For indoor cultivators, who are
concerned with optimizing yield and crop rotation from each growing room, maximizing
yield indoors may incur unacceptable risks. For
instance, as the mycelium declines in vigor af-

ter several flushes, contaminants begin to
flourish. Future runs are quickly imperiled.
If growing on sterilized sawdust, I recommend removing the blocks after the third flush
to a specially constructed, four sided, open-air
netted growing room.This over-flow or' 'yield re-

capture" environment is simply fitted with an
overhead nozzle misting system. Natural air currents provide plenty of circulation. These
recapture buildings givebonus crops and require

minimum maintenance. Growers in Georgia
and Louisiana have perfect climates for this a!-

Byproducts of Straw Substrate
Due to Conversion by
Pleurotus ostreatus
Carbon Dioxide
1111111 Water




Residual Compost


Figure 39. Chart showing comparison of by-products generated by Oyster (Pleurotus ostreatus) mycelium's
decomposition of wheat straw. (Adapted from Zadrazil (1976)).

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