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
156/The Mushroom Cultivator
Harvesting techniques:
1. Equipped with a basket and short bladed paring knife, grasp the base of the stem, and with

a twisting motion, pull the mushroom from the casing layer being careful not to disturb
neighboring pinheads.
2. Trim the stem base, removing only flesh to which the casing or substrate is attached. Mushrooms having thin stems are best cleaned using a knife in a downward scraping motion. All
trimmings should be placed in a sealed plastic bag and removed from the cropping area.

3. Mushrooms growing in clumps or clusters should be broken apart and harvested individually when possible. Special care must be taken with those clumps containing both mature
and immature mushrooms. Leave immature mushrooms attached to the casing layer or
substrate to insure continued growth.

Preserving Mushrooms
If not served within four days, mushrooms can be preserved by drying freezing or canning. Air
drying of mushrooms is the method most widely used by home cultivators and field hunters. Since
most mushrooms are 90% water, they must be dried within a few hours or fly larvae and bacteria
will consume them. Provided mushrooms are placed in a flow of warm, dry air, this large fraction of
water soon evaporates into the air. Dried mushrooms are smaller, lighter and less fragrant than fresh
ones. Once dried, they are sealed in airtight moisture proof plastic containers and refrigerated.
Mushrooms will be preserved for years in this manner. When needed, simply rehydrate them in water before cooking. They will regain much of their original size and flavor.

Commercially available food dehydrators are well suited for drying mushrooms. Their only disadvantage is that the trays are often too close together, necessitating the cutting of large mushrooms
into thin slices. Or, one can build a dehydrator solely designed for this function and customized to
an individual's particular needs. A good dryer should be able to dry the mushrooms in 24-48 hours
by passing warm air no hotter than 11 0 °F. Open air drying at room temperature is also feasible us-

ing dehumidifiers in combination with air circulation fans. "Flash" drying at high temperatures
should be avoided since the mushrooms lose much of their nutritive value and, as the case may be,
much of their psilocybin content.

Freezing is another method of preserving mushrooms. But unless the mushrooms are first
dried, frozen mushrooms are soggy and unappealing upon thawing. In freezing, the water constituting 90% of a mushroom's mass becomes crystallized. Frozen mushrooms are held together more
by ice crystals rather than their own cellular structure. Since ice expands upon crystallization, cells
break under the stress. Because frozen mushrooms disintegrate into a formless mass when thawed,
they are mostly used in soups or stews.

The best of both drying and freezing is freeze drying. This is the ideal method for preserving
the flavor, nutrition, form and/or psilocybian content of mushrooms. Because of the expense, only
a few commercial mushrooms, such as shiitake (Lentinus edodes) are freeze dried.

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