on 14 August 2003
The photographs are sublime. Stamets succeeds in luring the curious into having a go. His enthusiasm breathes life into the unsung occupation of mushroom production and yet manages to deliver the necessary technical information. Without getting bogged down in the langauge of biological sciences, Stamets offers a wealth of information on the growth parameters of a panolpy of fungal delights.
I was truly inspired by the book as the breadth of species that can be grown suggests even the most exotic are within one's grasp. The depth of information lends the reader the knowledge to choose the species that they can grow from raw materials that are available locally. I live in Ireland, so straw is cheap and freely available, hence mushrooms that grow on such materials are a more sensible option to mushrooms that prefer oak-logs and sawdust. Further the reader will be able to decide on the type of mushrooms that may prove most lucrative locally. This book is a doorway into a surprisignly immense world.
Beginners might be advised to get a night course on microbiology or find a geek to show them asceptic technique. Otherwise read the small print and apply yourself.
Love the cute pictures.
on 13 June 2001
This is undoubtedly the most comprehensive text on growing mushrooms there is. Covers just about every aspect of practical mycology from laboratory cultivation to large scale mushroom farms along with numerous methods of mushroom cultivation. Featured in the center of the book are 16 pages of beautiful color photographs of most of the mushrooms featured in the book as well as some electron scan micrograph photos of spores and mycelium. The book begins with on overview of the mushroom itself, it's natural habitat and growth cycle. This is taken into how this translates into the cultivation of mushrooms in various situations like natural landscapes or indoors. The middle section of the book detailed growth parameters, microscopic features, mycelial characteristics and cultivation methods for 25 species including Shiitake, Oyster mushrooms, Reishi, Maitake, Morels and Psilocybe cyanescens. The book also contain appendices describing the construction of laboratories and grow room complexes and a resource directory plus some useful data conversion tables. The sheer scope of the book can make the task of mushroom cultivation seem daunting but this is an unbeatable book and reference source for any mushroom grower novice of professional, a must.
on 29 January 2012
This book provides the novice (ie me) with everything I could possibly need to start out in mushroom growing. But also deals with the commercial end of mushroom farming as well. It details different techniques of spore innoculation, substrate sterilisation, growing media and environments. The second half details the specific requirements for individual mushrooms with 3 or 4 pages on each. It also appendices for building your own myco lab and grow chambers.
I am really pleased I got this book.
Some of the photographs look a bit out of date however, but don't let that put you off.
on 2 January 2014
This book contains a wealth of useful information about all aspects of mushroom cultivation. Though, from the point of view of a beginner, much of the information relates to large scale cultivation and laboratory techniques, all of it is relevant and adaptable to inform and improve simple home growing techniques. The genuine enthusiasm of the author comes across throughout, and the broad range of fungi knowledge presented will give the reader a good basic understanding of how fungi actually function, both in cultivation and in the wild, which is really important to be able to culture them effectively. The most useful section of all, in my optinion, is the section giving a full analysis of each cultivated species covered by the book. This gives the grower the exact tempertures, humidities, timescales etc. to aim for to get optimal results, which is obviously a great help when you're trying to get things working.
on 28 January 2014
This book is a very comprehensive guide.
There is a bit of cultural and scientific history.
There is a bit of philosophy and visionary ideas.
There are a lot of facts, data, tables, techniques etc etc etc
Seems to be a complete handbook, and the day I discovery what it lacks on the subject, I will be able to call myself a top expert on the subject. I seriously doubt that that can happen without an incredible amount of time and effort.