The mushroom cultivator. A practical guide to growing mushrooms at home

Paul Stamets. The mushroom cultivator. A practical guide to growing mushrooms at home. - Agarikon press, 1983

Содержание

FOREWORD by Dr. Andrew Weil

PREFACE

I. INTRODUCTION TO MUSHROOM CULTURE

II. STERILE TECHNIQUE AND AGAR CULTURE

III. GRAIN CULTURE

IV. THE MUSHROOM GROWING ROOM

V. COMPOST PREPARATION

VI. NON-COMPOSTED SUBSTRATES

VII. SPAWNING AND SPAWN RUNNING IN BULK SUBSTRATES

VIII. THE CASING LAYER

IX. STRATEGIES FOR MUSHROOM FORMATION (PINHEAD INITIATION)

X. ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS: SUSTAINING THE MUSHROOM CROP

XL GROWING PARAMETERS FOR VARIOUS MUSHROOM SPECIES

XII. CULTIVATION PROBLEMS AND THEIR SOLUTIONS: A TROUBLESHOOTING GUIDE

XIII. THE CONTAMINANTS OF MUSHROOM CULTURE: IDENTIFICATION AND CONTROL

XIV. THE PESTS OF MUSHROOM CULTURE

XV. MUSHROOM GENETICS

APPENDICES

GLOSSARY

BIBLIOGRAPHY

INDEX

PHOTOGRAPHY AND ILLUSTRATION CREDITS

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

OCR
xv

PREFACE

T

he use of mushrooms as food crosses all cultural boundaries. Highly prized by the
Greeks, mushroom consumption in European nations has deep traditional roots. The

Agari, a pre-Scythian people from Samartia (now Poland and the western Soviet Union), held

mushrooms in high esteem and used them medicinally. The early Greeks held a similar
fascination for fungi and apparently worked them into their religious rituals, even to the extent
that to discuss the use of these sacraments violated strong taboos. For thousands of years, the
Chinese and Japanese have prized a variety of mushroom species for their beneficial proper-.
ties. In the New World, the Aztec and Mazatec Indians of Mexico used mushrooms for both
their healing and divining properties. Clearly, mushrooms have played a significant role in the
course of human cultures worldwide.
Although the Japanese have cultivated the Shiitake mushroom for two thousand years,
the earliest record of European mushroom cultivation was in the 1 7th century when an
agronomist to Louis XIV, Olivier de Serres, retrieved wild specimens and implanted mushroom mycelium in prepared substrates. In those times mushroom growing was a small scale
outdoor activity practiced by the rural populace. Materials in which mushrooms grew naturally
were collected and concentrated into prepared beds. These beds were cropped and then used
to start new beds. As demand increased and new methods improved yields, mushroom growing developed into a large scale commercial business complete with computer controlled in-

door environments and scientifically formulated substrates. Spawn with which to plant
prepared beds, initially gathered in nature, became standardized as sterile culture techniques
were perfected.
It is now known that many of the mushrooms presently under cultivation rank above all
vegetable and legumes (except soybeans) in protein content, and have significant levels of B

and C vitamins and are low in fat. Research has shown that certain cultivated mushrooms
reduce serum cholesterol, inhibit tumors, stimulate interferon production and possess antiviral
properties. It is no surprise, therefore, that as food plants were developed into cultivars, mushrooms were among those selected.
Discovering the methods most successful for mushroom cultivation has been a long and
arduous task, evolving from the experience of lifetimes of research. As mushroom growing
expanded from the realm of home cultivators to that of a multimillion dollar industry, it is not
surprising that growers became more secretive about their methods. For prospective home
cultivators, finding appropriate information has become increasingly difficult. As a result, the

number of small growers decreased and home cultivation became a rare enterprise.
The Mushroom Cultivator is written expressly for the home cultivator and is without bias
against any group of interested growers. For the first time, information previously unavailable
to the general public is presented in a clear and easy to understand fashion. The book reflects
not only the work of the authors but also the cumulative knowledge gained through countless

PDF compression, OCR, web-optimization with CVISION's PdfCompressor