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






floor. After a minute or two, the cultivator, reenters the lab and begins his routine. (Note that
you should not mix disinfectants—especially
bleach and ammonia. Furthermore, this
method can potentially damage your lungs or
exposed mucous membranes. Appropriate precautions are strongly recommended.)

Without the exchange of fresh air, carbon
dioxide levels will naturally rise from out-gassing by the mushroom mycelium. As carbon
dioxide levels elevate, contaminants are triggered into growth. An additional problem with
heavily packed spawn rooms is that with the
rise of carbon dioxide, oxygen levels propor-

tionately decrease, eventually asphyxiating
the laboratory personnel. Unless the air is exchanged, the lab becomes stifling and
contamination-prone. Since the only way to

exchange air without introducing contaminants is by filtering, the combination of fans
and micron filters is the only recourse.
Other cultivators use ultraviolet lights
which interfere with the DNA replication of all
living organisms. UV lamps are effective when
the contaminants are directly exposed. However, since shadowed areas are fully protected
from UV exposure, contaminants in those re-

gions remain unaffected. I disdain the use of
UV in favor of the micron filter alternative.
However, many others prefer their use. Note
that the lab door should be electrically
switched to the UV light so that the lamp turns
off at entry. Obviously, exposure to UV light is

health-threatening to humans, potentiating
skin cancer and damage to the cornea of the

Frequently, the vector of airborne contamination is easy to detect because of the way it
forms on petri dishes. Airborne contaminants
enter a petri dish either at the time the lid is
opened (during pouring or inoculation) or dur-

Figure 58. Using an elastic film to seal the top and
bottom of petri dishes. This eliminates the chance
of airborne contamination entering during incubation.

ing incubation. When the dish is opened, airborne contamination can spread evenly across
the face of nutrient media. During incubation,
contaminants creep in and form along the in-

side periphery of the petri dish. This latter
occurrence is most common with laboratories
with marginal cleanliness.A simple solution is
to tape together the top and bottom of the the
petri dish directly after pouring andlor inoculation using elastic wax film. (Parafilm® is one

brand. See Figure 58.) Plastic, stretchable
kitchen wraps available in most grocery stores
also can be used. These films prevent entry of
contaminant spores that can occur from the fluctuation of barometric pressure due to natural
changes in weather patterns.
One helpful tool in eliminating each vector
of contamination as the source is to leave con-

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