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






The method of spore ejection has been a subject of much study and yet still remains largely
a mystery. At the junction between the spore and

the basidium's sterigma, an oily gas bubble
forms and inflates.This bubble swells to capacity and explodes, ejecting spores with a force
that has been calculated to represent more than
6 atmospheres of pressure! After ejaculation,
the basidium collapses, making way for neighboring basidia, until now dormant, to enlarge.
Successions of basidia mature, in ever increas-

ing quantities, until peaking at the time of
mushroom maturity. The well organized man-

ner by which populations of basidia emerge
from the plane of the gill optimizes the efficiency of spore dispersal. After peak spore
production, spores cover the gill face several
layers deep, hiding the very cells from which
they arose. With aStropharia, this stage would
correspond to a mushroom whose gills had become dark purple brown and whose cap had
flattened. Spore release at this stage actually declines as the battery of basidia has been largely
exhausted and/or because the basidia are ren-

dered dysfunctional by the sea of overlying

Sterile or non-spore-producing cells that
adorn the gills are called cystidia. Cystidia on the
edge of the gills are called cheilocystidia, while

cystidia on the interior surface are called
pleurocystidia. (See Figures 54,55 and 56).The
cystidia appear to help the basidia in their devel-

opment. The extensive surface areas of the
cheilocystidia cause the humidity between the
gills to rise, thus preserving the hospitable moist

Figure 57. Mycelium of Pleurotus cystidiosus and
allies, species possessing both sexual and asexual
life cycles. Black droplet structures contain hundreds of spores.

mushrooms mature, cystidia swell with metabolic waste products. Often times an oily droplet
forms at their tips.The constant evaporation from
these large reserviors of metabolites is an effec-

tive way of purging waste by-products and
elevating humidity. Some species having
pleurocystidia often have a high number of gills
per mm. of radial arc. In other words: more gills;
more spores. The survival of the species is better assured.

Once spores have been discharged, the life
cycle has come full circle. Mature mushrooms
become a feasting site for small mammals (ro-

microclimate necessary for spore maturity. Some
pleurocystidia can project well beyond the surface plane ofbasidia, and in doing, keep the gills

dents such as squirrels, mice, etc. ),

from contacting one another. Should the gills

From this onslaught, the mushroom quickly decomposes. In due course, spores not

touch, spore dispersal is greatly hampered. As the


mammals (deer, elk, bears, humans), insects,
gastropods (snails), bacteria, and other fungi.

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