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Which mushroom cultivation book should I buy?

Paul Stamets and J.S.Chilton: The Mushroom Cultivator



Paul Stamets and J.S.Chilton: The Mushroom Cultivator



Although published back in 1983 this book is still seen by many as the standard book on mushroom cultivation. It covers all fields of mushroom cultivation in great detail, including sterile technique, spawn and substrate formulas and preparation(including compost), detailed descriptions and growth parameters for 15 mushroom species, among them many Psilocybe species and a big contamination section and a troubleshooting guide.
Much information compiled in this FAQ comes directly from this great book.

Now, do I really need this book?
If your only goal is to grow a few PF-cakes, you definitely don't need this book. If your interests go beyond that, then this is a must have.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

FOREWORD by Dr. Andrew Weil                                   xi
PREFACE                                                       xii

I.INTRODUCTION TO MUSHROOM CULTURE                            1
An Overview of Techniques for Mushroom Cultivation            3
Mushrooms and Mushroom Culture                                4
The Mushroom Life Cycle                                       6

II.STERILE TECHNIQUE AND AGAR CULTURE                         15
Design and Construction of a Sterile Laboratory               16
Preparation of Agar Media                                     19
Starting A Culture from Spores                                23
Taking a Spore Print                                          23
Techniques for Spore Germination                              24
Characteristics of the Mushroom Mycelium                      25
Ramifications of Multispore Culture                           25
Sectoring: Strain Selection and Development                   31
Stock Cultures: Methods For Preserving Mushroom Strains       37

III.GRAIN CULTURE                                             41
The Development of Grain Spawn                                42
Preparation of Grain Spawn                                    45
Spawn Formulas                                                46
Inoculation of Sterilized Grain from Agar Media               48
Inoculation of Sterilized Grain from Grain Masters            49
Alternative Spawn Media                                       54
Liquid Inoculation Techniques                                 55
Incubation of Spawn                                           57

IV.THE MUSHROOM GROWING ROOM                                  61
Structure and Growing Systems                                 62
Structure                                                     63
Shelves                                                       64
Trays                                                         65
Environmental Control Systems                                 66
Fresh Air                                                     66
Fans                                                          68
Air Ducting                                                   70
Filters                                                       70
Exhaust Vents                                                 72
Heating                                                       73
Cooling                                                       73
Humidification                                                74
Thermostats and Humidistats                                   74
Lighting                                                      74
Environmental Monitoring Equipment                            76

V.COMPOST PREPARATION                                         77
Phase I Composting                                            78
Basic Raw Materials                                           78
Supplements                                                   79
Formulas                                                      81
Ammonia                                                       82
Carbon:Nitrogen Ratio                                         83
WaterAir                                                      83
Pre-Wetting                                                   84
Building the Pile                                             85
Turning                                                       87
Temperature                                                   88
Long Composting                                               89
Short Composting                                              90
Synthetic Compost Procedure                                   91
Composting Tools                                              92
Characteristics of the Compost at Filling                     93
Supplementation at Filling                                    95
Phase II Composting                                           96
Basic Air Requirements                                        97
Phase II Room Design                                          98
Filling Procedures                                            98
Depth of Fill                                                 99
Phase II Procedures: Trays or Shelves                         100
Phase II in Bulk                                              101
Bulk Room Design Features                                     102
Bulk Room Filling Procedures                                  104
Bulk Room Phase II Program                                    104
Testing for Ammonia                                           104
Aspect of the Finished Compost                                105
Alternative Composts and Composting Procedures                106
Sugar Cane Bagasse Compost                                    106
The Five Day Express Composting Method                        106

VI.NON-COMPOSTED SUBSTRATES                                   109
Natural Culture                                               110
Wood Based Substrates                                         114
Straw                                                         117

VII.SPAWNING AND SPAWN RUNNING IN BULK SUBSTRATES             121
Moisture Content                                              122
Substrate Temperature                                         122
Dry Weight of Substrate                                       122
Duration of Spawn Run                                         124
Spawning Methods                                              124
Environmental Conditions                                      125
Super Spawning                                                126
Supplementation at Spawning                                   126
Supplementation at Casing                                     126

VIII.THE CASING LAYER                                         127
Function                                                      128
Properties                                                    129
Materials                                                     130
Formulas and Preparation                                      132
Application                                                   133
Casing Colonization                                           135
Casing Moisture and Mycelial Appearance                       137

IX.STRATEGIES FOR MUSHROOM FORMATION (PINHEAD INITIATION)     139
Basic Pinning Strategy                                        140
Primordia Formation Procedures                                141
The Relationship Between Primordia Formation and Yield        146
The Influence of Light on Pinhead Initiation                  147
X.ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS: SUSTAINING THE MUSHROOM CROP         149
Temperature                                                   150
Flushing Pattern                                              150
Air Movement                                                  152
Watering                                                      154
Harvesting                                                    155
Preserving Mushrooms                                          156

XI.GROWING PARAMETERS FOR VARIOUS MUSHROOM SPECIES            159
Agaricusbitorquis                                             161
Agaricus brunnescens                                          164
Coprinus comatus                                              168
Flammulina velutipes                                          172
Lentinus edodes                                               176
Lepista nuda                                                  180
Panaeolus cyanescens                                          183
Panaeolussubbalteatus .                                       186
Pleurotus ostreatus (Type Variety)                            189
Pleurotus ostreatus (Florida Variety)                         193
Psilocybe cubensis                                            196
Psilocybe cyanescens                                          200
Psilocybe mexicana                                            204
Psilocybe tampanensis                                         207
Stropharia rugoso-annulata                                    210
Volvariella volvacea                                          214

XII.CULTIVATION PROBLEMS AND THEIR SOLUTIONS:
TROUBLE SHOOTING GUIDE                                        217
Sterile Technique                                             219
Agar Culture                                                  219
Grain Culture                                                 220
Compost Preparation                                           223
Phase I                                                       223
Phase II                                                      224
Spawn Running                                                 226
Case Running                                                  227
Mushroom Formation and Development                            229
Pinhead Initiation                                            229
Cropping                                                      231

XIII.THE CONTAMINANTS OF MUSHROOM CULTURE:
IDENTIFICATION AND CONTROL                                    233

A Key to the Common Contaminants of Mushroom Culture          238
Virus (Die-Back Disease)                                      244
Actinomyces (Firefang)                                        246
Bacillus (Wet Spot)                                           248
Pseudomonas (Bacterial Blotch & Pit)                          252
Streptomyces {Firefang)                                       255
Alternaria (Black Mold)                                       257
Aspergillus (Green Mold)                                      259
Botrytis (Brown Mold)                                         262
Chaetomium (Olive Green Mold)                                 264
Chrysosporium (Yellow Mold)                                   266
Cladosporium (Dark Green Mold)                                268
Coprinus (Inky Cap)                                           270
Cryptococcus (Cream Colored Yeast)                            273
Dactylium (Cobweb Mold)                                       275
Doratormyces (Black Whisker Mold)                             277
Epicoccum (Yellow Mold).                                      279
Fusarium (Pink Mold)                                          281
Geotrichum (Lipstick Mold)                                    284

Humicola (Gray Mold)                                          286
Monilia (White Flour Mold)                                    288
Mucor (Black Pin Mold)                                        290
Mycelia Sterilia (White Mold)                                 292
Mycogone (Wet Bubble)                                         294
INeurospora (Pink Mold                                        296
Papulospora (Brown Plaster Mold)                              298
Penicillium (Bluish Green Mold)                               300
Rhizopus (Black Pin Mold)                                     302
Scopulariopsis (White Plaster Mold)                           304
Sepedonium (White or Yellow Mold)                             306
Torula (Black Yeast)                                          308
Trichoderma (Forest Green Mold)                               310
Trichothecium (Pink Mold)                                     313
Verticillium (Dry Bubble)                                     315

XIV.THE PESTS OF MUSHROOM CULTURE                             319
Mushroom Flies                                                320
Fly Control Measures                                          320
Sciarid Fly                                                   321
Phorid Fly                                                    323
Cecid Fly                                                     325
Mites                                                         328
INematodes (Eelworrns)                                        331

XV.MUSHROOM GENETICS                                          333
Reproductive Strategies                                       336
Implications for Culture Work                                 338

APPENDICES                                                    343
I.Medicinal Properties of Mushrooms                           345
II.Laminar Flow Systems                                       347
III.The Effect of Bacteria and Other
Microorganisms on Fruiting                                    253

IV.The Use of Mushroom Extracts to Induce Fruiting            357
V.Data Collection and Environmental Monitoring Records        359
VI.Analyses of Basic Materials Used in Substrate Preparation  369
VII.Resources For Mushroom Growing Equipment and Supplies     384
VIII.English to Metric Conversion Tables                      386
GLOSSARY                                                      389
BIBLIOGRAPHY                                                  397
INDEX                                                         409
PHOTOGRAPHY AND ILLUSTRATION CREDITS                          414
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS                                              415

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