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 best one can hope is that contaminants in
the sawdust have been reduced to a level as to
not be a problem, i. e. within the normal time
frame needed for the mushroom mycelium to
achieve thorough colonization.Again, the time

period needed is approximately two weeks.
Should colonization not be complete in two
weeks, the development of contaminants elsewhere in the substrate is not unusual Of
course, by increasing the spawn rate, colonization is accelerated, and the window of
opportunity favors the mushroom mycelium.
The recommended sterilization times for various media are described in Chapters 15—17.

Badham (1988) found that sterilization of
supplemented sawdust under pressure for 4
hours at 19 psi was functionally similar (in
terms of contamination reduction, growth rate,
and yield of Shiitake) to high temperature pasteurization (190-194° F. or 88-90° C.) for 14
hours at atmospheric pressure (1 psi). Remote

sensing thermometers, placed at a variety of
depths, are used to determine a temperature
profile. When the coolest probe reads 190° F.
(88° C.), steam is continuously supplied for a
minimum of 12 hours, preferably 14-16 hours
depending on substrate mass.
Since heat penetration varies with each substrate material's density, and is co-dependent
on the moisture content, the use of sterilization

indicator strips is recommended to confirm
that sterilization has actually occurred.
Yet another limiting factor is that media bio-

chemically changes, potentially generating
toxins to mycelial growth. Should malt agar be

cooked for 2-3 hours at 18 psi, the resulting
media changes into a clear, amber liquid as
sugars have been reduced. Under these conditions, cultivators say the media has
"caramelized" and generally discard the media
and make up a new batch. Contaminants won't

Figure 59. Heat-sensitive sterilization indicator
strips showing no sterilization, partial sterilization,
and complete sterilization.

grow on this media; nor does most mushroom

mycelia. The cultivator is constantly faced
with such dilemmas. What makes a good cultivator is one who seeks the compromises which
lead most quickly to colonization and
fruitbody production.
4. The Tools: In this category, all tools of the
trade are included from the scalpel to the pressure cooker to the media vessels. Insufficient
sterilization of the tools can be a direct vector

since contact with the media is immediate.
Flame-sterilizing scalpels is the preferred method
over topical disinfection with alcohol or

bleach. However, the latter is used widely by
the plant tissue culture industry with few problems.
If you are using a pressure cooker for steril-

izing media and other tools, many forget that
although the interior of the vessel has been

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