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






branching of the mycelium occurs, resulting in
a thickening of the mycelial mat.

With the approach of winter, the mycelial
mat retreats to survive in specific sites. At this
time, many mushrooms, both gilled and nongilled, produce scierotia. Scierotia are a resting
phase in the mushroom life cycle. Scierotia resemble a hardened tuber, wood-like in texture.
(See Figures 42 and 43. )While in this dormant

state, the mushroom species can survive inclement weather conditions like drought, fire,
flooding, or other natural catastrophes. In the

spring, the scierotia swell with water and

Figure 44. Scanning electron micrograpti otmycelium.

vironment, breaking down lignin-cellulose
complexes into simpler compounds. The mushroom mycelium absorbs these reduced organic
molecules as nutrients directly through its cell
walls. After one mushroom species has run its
course, the partially decomposed substrate be-

comes available to secondary and tertiary
saprophytes who reduce it further. Ultimately,
a rich soil is created for the benefit of plants and
other organisms.
As the mycelium expands, a web of cells is
formed, collectively called the mycelial net-

soften. Directly from the scierotia, mushrooms
emerge. Morels are the best known mushrooms
which arise from sclerotia. (See Figures 359360). By the time you find a mature Morel, the
sclerotia from which it came will have disappeared.
Most saprophytic mushrooms produce a thick

mycelial mat after spore germination. These
types of mycelial mats are characterized by
many cross-overs between the hyphae. When
two spores come together and mate, the downstream mycelium produces bridges between the
cells, called clamp connections. Clamp connections are especially useful for cultivators who

want to determine whether or not they have
mated mycelium. Mycelium arising from a
single spore lacks clamp connections entirely,
and is incapable of producing fertile mushrooms.
As the mycelial network extends, several by-

mycelium throws a thinly articulated mycelial
network. (Morel mycelium is the fastest-growing of any I have seen. ) Once a substantial

products are produced. Besides heat, carbon
dioxide is being generated in enormous quantities. One study (Zadrazil, 1976) showed that
nearly 50% of the carbon base in wheat straw
is liberated as gaseous carbon dioxide in the
course of its decomposition by Oyster mushrooms! 10% was converted into dried
mushrooms: 20% was converted to proteins.

territorial domain has been over-run, side

Other by-products include a variety of volatile

work. The arrangement of these cells


designed to optimally capture an ecological
niche. Species differ in the manner by which the

mycelial mat is projected. Initially, Morel

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