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
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
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