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
4/The Mushroom Cultivator

MUSHROOMS AND MUSHROOM CULTURE
Mushrooms inspire awe in those encountering them. They seem different. Neither plant-like
nor animal-like, mushrooms have a texture, appearance and manner of growth all their own. Mushrooms represent a small branch in the evolution of the fungal kingdom Eumycota and are commonly known as the "fleshy fungi". In fact, fungi are non-photosynthetic organisms that evolved from
algae. The primary role of fungi in the ecosystem is decomposition, one organism in a succession

of microbes that break down dead organic matter. And although tens of thousands of fungi are
know, mushrooms constitute only a small fraction, amounting to a few thousand species.
Regardless of the species, several steps are universal to the cultivation of all mushrooms. Not
surprisingly, these initial steps directly reflect the life cycle of the mushroom. The role of the cultivator is to isolate a particular mushroom species from the highly competitive natural world and implant it in an environment that gives the mushroom plant a distinct advantage over competing
organisms. The three major steps in the growing of mushrooms parallel three phases in their life cycle. They are:
1. Spore collection, spore germination and isolation of mycelium; or tissue cloning.
2. Preparation of inoculum by the expansion of mycelial mass on enriched agar media and
then on grain. Implantation of grain spawn into composted and uncomposted substrates or
the use of grain as a fruiting substrate.
3. Fruitbody (mushroom) initiation and development.

Having a basic understanding of the mushroom life cycle greatly aids the learning of techniques
essential to cultivation.
Mushrooms are the fruit of the mushroom plant, the mycelium. A mycelium is a vast network
of interconnected cells that permeates the ground and lives perenially. This resident mycelium only
produces fruitbodies, what are commonly called mushrooms, under optimum conditions of temperature, humidity and nutrition. For the most part, the parent mycelium has but one recourse for
insuring the survival of the species: to release enormous numbers of spores. This is accomplished
through the generation of mushrooms.
In the life cycle of the mushroom plant, the fruitbody occurs briefly. The mycelial network can
sit dormant for months, sometimes years and may only produce a single flush of mushrooms. During those few weeks of fruiting, the mycelium is in a frenzied state of growth, amassing nutrients and
forming dense ball-like masses called primorida that eventually enlarge into the towering mushroom structure. The gills first develop from the tissue on the underside of the cap, appearing as
folds, then becoming blunt ridges and eventually extending into flat, vertically aligned plates. These
efficiently arranged symmetrical gills are populated with spore producing cells called basidia.
From a structural point of view, the mushroom is an efficient reproductive body. The cap acts
as a domed shield protecting the underlying gills from the damaging effects of rain, wind and sun.
Covering the gills in many species is a well developed layer of tissue called the partial veil which
extends from the cap margin to the stem. Spores start falling from the gills just before the partial veil
tears. After the partial veil has fallen, spores are projected from the gills in ever increasing numbers.

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