Growth Parameters

Spawn Run:

Incubation Temperature 65-75° F. (18-24° C.) Relative Humidity: 95-100% Duration: 45-60 days C02: >5000 ppm Fresh Air Exchanges: 0-1 Light Requirements: n/a Primordia Formation:

Relative Humidity: 95-100%

Duration: 10-14 days

C02:1000-2000 ppm

Fresh Air Exchanges: 2-4 or as needed.

Light Requirements: 400-800 lux.

Fruitbody Development:

Relative Humidity: 90-95%

Duration: 10-20 days

C02:1000-2000 ppm

Fresh Air Exchanges: 2-4 or as needed

Light Requirements: 400-800 lux.

Cropping Cycle:

2 crops, 3-4 weeks apart.

ing a luxuriantly satin-like mycelia on sterilized malt agar merlia. The mycelium is wnite, cottony at first, soon silky rhizomorphic, usually radiating outwards with diverging fans from the site of inoculation. Mycelium often, but does not necessarily, bruises bluish.

Fragrance Signature: Sour, unpleasant, nearly nauseating to some people, farinaceous, and reminiscent of spoiling corn.

Natural Method of Cultivation: This mushroom conforms to essentially the same strategy as Stmpharia rugoso-annulata. (See growth parameters for that species.) Sawdust spawn is broadcasted into hardwood or conifer (Douglas fir) chips which have been laid down outdoors in a partially shaded environment. The wood chips should be variable in size, ranging from l/8th inch in diameter to 4 inches in length.

Recommended Courses for Expansion of Mycelial Mass to Achieve Fruiting: Liquid inoculated grain spawn to 50:50 sawdust/wood chips used as spawn into outdoor beds.

Suggested Agar Culture Media: MYA, PDYA, OMYA or DFA.

Figure 292. Psilocybe cyanofibrillosa fruiiing from Douglas fir sawdust lsl 2nd & 3rd Generation Spawn Media: Grain spawn throughout with the final stage of mycelial expansion being sawdust/chips.

Su strates for Fruiting: Hardwood sawdust and wood chips, especially alder, cottonwood, oak, birch, and beech. Douglas fir will also support fruitings.

Recommended Containers for Fruiting: Trays or framed beds outdoors.

Yield Potentials: Unavailable. Nutritional Content: Not known to this author

Medicinal Pronerties: None authenticated. Shamans have used these mushrooms forjntunesto dia^oseQlness ec aal reports re i ved by this author suggest a few venues jrpos ble medca research An "Merly ~ie d suffei fromchroni leanng degeneration told me at* allamounso SeLmustoomMoos useiL i "or 1 da remarkably pojtiv, effector ns hearing. Residual effects would carry over for several days. He urgedne to tell others ofhis expe lences.

mushrooms enhance mind s ability for complex visualization and nay os ibly be a JSZSSc autonomic nervous system. These mushrooms should 1 e used only under the c^ u sup • s on and guidance of a physician or a shaman Those unprepare for s expe ■ ce often suffer from attackf of paranoia, fits of uncontrolled laughter, and other symptoms of psycho-

^°^Mushrooms°of this group have been -argely ignored by Western scientists for their potential me-

Figure 293. Psilocybe azurescens fruiting in the fall from a bed of alder chips implanted in the spring.

dicinal properties, instead focusing on their short-lived effects on the central nervous system. It is highly un'ikely a mushroom would manufacture \% of its biomass in a crystalline form for no evolutionary advantage As drags, the active compounds—psilocybin & psilocin—have virtually no apparent addictive potential for humans. These compounds act as short-lived anti-metaboP es for serotonin, a primary neurotransmitter in the mammalian brain.

Comments: Mushrooms of this complex are rare in the wild. With the expansion of ci. ilization, debris piles of chipped wood have accumulated around human dwellings. This rapidly emerging ecological niche has been quickly exploited by the Caramel Capped Fs;locybes.

Yet, I am still mystified that in over twenty years of collecting, and in talking to dozens

Figure 294. A Sacred Psilocybe Patch.

,1, fnllprtnrs that the P cvanescens group has not yet been found in purely natural settings in the tafi N ^ Two possibilities: etther these mushrooms are exceedingly rare fnna ureSg fem nuoo-niches (sue, as a minor player in saprophytics firxones)^mdtfe or Europe. The European P. Serbia. Moser c| , faU imo lhc Caramel Capped

ClXteTumnmahpeeres o the forefront of all them,coflora found ,n suburban and uAan set-

^gsSCa« S» M" Products, opecUly cardboard, quickly projectors, formed, mushrooms at a time when few others are in their prime.

growth parameters 335

The King Strophaiia of the Genus Stropharia Stropharia rugoso-annulata Farlow apt id Murrill

Introduction: Majestic and massive, few mushrooms are as adaptive as Stropharia rugoso-annulata to outdoor cultivation. Popu larly grown in Europe, this species is now the premier mushroom for outdoor bed culture by mycophiles in temperate climates. Known for its burgundy color when young, and its mammoth size, this mushroom is rapidly gaining popularity among mycologically astute recycling proponents.

Although Stropharia rugoso-annulata can be culli ^ated in growing rooms, commercial cultivation seems uneconomical when compared to the yields achieved from other mushrooms. The time from spawrmg to crop ping il nearly 8-10 weeks, slow by any standard. The casing layer can not be fully heat treated without significant reduction in yields. Ard, unpasteurized casing soils, when kept for „„„ ^ . , „

, , . , c. ■ , , figure 295. Typical S. rugoso-annulata mycelium If prolonged periods of time in humid,fed grow- days after inoculation onto malt extractJagar me. ing rooms, tend to contaminate v ,th a plethora dium of green molds and other weed fungi. With peai moss based casing, low temperature pasteurization @ 130-140° F. (54-60° C.) for only 30 minutes— may be the best course for indoor cultivation. I also recommend experimentation with soaking a synthetic casing material composed of water crystals and vermiculite with a bacterially enriched water. This type of casing could stimulate fruiting by providing the essential microflora without encouraging competitor molds. Until the gestation period can be shortened for indoor cultivation, the most practical method, given time, effort, and money, is outdoors in shaded beds of wood chips and straw.

Common Names: King Stropharia

Garden Giant or Gartenriese Burgundy Mushrooms The Wine Cap Wine Red Stropharia Godzilla Mushrooms

Figure 296. S. rugoso-annulata fruiting from wheat straw topped ("cased") with a layer of soil.

Taxonomic Synonyms & Considerations: At various times, called Strophariafe? rii Bres. or Stropharia imaiana Benedix. Description: Cap 4-13 cm. reddish brown at first, fading in age, broadly convex to plane at maturity. Margin incurved at first, connected by a thick, membranous veil. Veil breaking with age to form a thick membranous ring radially split with gill-like ridges, usually darker i with spores. Teeth-like veil remnants often seen at the time the ring separates from the cap. Stem thick, equal, enlarging towards the base where thick, white radiating rhizomorphs extend

Distribution: This mushroom is especially common in the mid-Atlantic states like New York New Jersey, and ^arsachusetts Although first descril ed from North America in 19,2 this mushroom is no, found" irope, Jew Zealand and Japan. Thi nushroom probably »ecame widely disti »ted throu -i the export of ornamentals and wood chips. Yokoyama has deposited a strain in the culture h brary (,f the American Type Culture Collectio (ATCC # 42263 = IFO 30225) isolated from nee straw

Natural Hi bitat: In hardwood forests and/or amongst hardwood debris or in soils rich in undecompose 1 woody matter, especially common in the wood chip mulch used in outdoor urban/

suburban plantings of ornamentals.

Microscopic Features: Spores purple brown, giving a purplish black spore print, measuring 11-13 x 7 5-8 p, smooth, ellipsoid. Clamp connections present.

Available Strains: "Vinnetou," a popular European strain and "Olympia", a widely distributed stram from the Pacific Northwest of North America

Mycelial Characteristics: Whitish, linear to longitudinally radial, not aerial comparativ ely slow growing '' 1mm in cfrire larks the pronounced §i**norphs seen in nature. Under stenle co^ tioni the mycelium is cottony, not .rial and often flattens with Iifferentiated plateau-like formations ( thecultur dishes are taped with Parafilm ®, the mycelium becomes ae tal) After fr S incubation on grain the mycelium secretes a ck J yellow metabolic exudate. M not transferred to new media and allowec o over-incubate, this higni acidic exudate jeopardizes the vi tali y of the host mycelium. This fluid may have interesting pharmacological, antibiotic, and/or enz1 aatic properties and. to my knowledge, has not yet been analyzed.

l^grance Signature: A unique, strong, phenolic-like fragrance is ¡imparted by the mycelium after color izi] ^ grain, nee on sawdust, the mycelium out-gasses a ncn, pleasing, and forest-like scent.

Natural Method of Outdoor Cultivation: Tmis mushroom can be easily transplanted, a technique first used by wild collectors—whether they were aware of it or not.The trimmings from the base of the stem, resplendent with thick white rhizomoiphs, quickly re-grows when placed in contact with moist wood debris. Collectors of wild mushrooms found this mushroom growing in their backyards, aggress'." ely seeking compost piles, sawdust or straw mulched soils. With the advent of commercial spawn, debris mounds are now designed and constructed with Stropharia rugoso-annulata in mind.

Our family grows Stropharia rugoso-annulata' 1 two ways. Our preferred method is to inoculate wood chips provided by our county utility company. (We live in a rural area with little automobile traffic.) The mixture of wood chips is mostly alder, with some Douglas fir and hemlock mixed in. Our only prerequisite is a minimum of leafy matter, which means we like to acqui e our chips before mid-April, a perfect time for inoculation. Tracks dump several loads of chips into a pyramidal pile. Using metal rakes (and a tractor)., we spread the pile until it is a depth of about one foot. (Down-1 ;11 sides of the pile can get up to three feet in depth. Tne exposed surface face of the down-hill slope, provides adequate aeration and discourages activity from anaerobic organisms) Upon this pile we use a 5 lb. bag of sawdust/chip spawn per 100 square feet as our minimum inoculation rate and up to 4 units of spawn for a concentrated inoculation rate. For the first four days, I heavily water using a standard yard sprinkler. Subsequently, I water for 1/2 hour in the morning and evening, unless of course, it's been raining.

In two to three weeks, ihizomorphs can be detected in their first stages of growth. In eight weeks, island colonies are distinct and abundant, usually separated by a few feet. The inoculated spawn creates island colonies which qu'ckly become iceberg lite :n formation, seeing the moist chips below and stimulated by the bacteria and nutrients near the wood/soil interface. These pyramidal colonies gradually expand to the surface. In twelve weeks, a large contiguous mycelial mat has formed. Pro vided that temperatures at ground level exceed 60° F. (15-16° C.), fruitings can be abundant beginning in late July to the end of September. Stropharia rugoso-annulata, like Agaricus augustus, the Prince, is a summer mushroom in the Pacific Northwest of North America. The mycelium is, however, tolerant of extreme temperature swings, tL„ ring :n a 40-90° F. (4-32° C.) window.

Breaks or flushes of mushrooms can first be seen as smooth, reddish "stones", as if strewn into the wood chips by a playful child. As soon as they are touched, you realize that these "stones" are piimor-dia. And for primordia, they are enormous, measuring aninch ortwo across.The cultivatoris well advised to establish a standard walkway so that young mushrooms, unseen, are not crushed underfoot.

Figure 297. Azureus Slamets holding 4 lb. specimen of 5 rugoso-annulata
men of S. rugoso-annulata. 1UC1 6

Hungarians have pioneered an interesting version of companion planting K:ig Strop iriamush-roo^s are grown in rov ; c baled wheat straw. The wheat straw is then wetted and inoculate wilh pasteurized chopped I eat straw spa < his i called "substrate spawn" ) Long rows of •mpreg natedwheat straware m e ,mp sein Ids, adjacent to rows of other crop, Mushrooms usua ly Ss rom the st™ soil inter ac , and can be harvested during the late summer and early fall. Afte hfJ wTng e n as ended e straw and waste cornstalks are tilled under, enriching the sod for next year's crops .

Recommended Courses for Expansion of Mycelial lass to Achieve Fr, .tn This is a m ush-room^hich greatly benefit f i ' turbedc agitated. Ir tl .tab ra ry themycehalgr^ rate^teadily c nesunle s it is frequentl; disrupt To achieve the r ^J^^Y^re eTv^ ow ongain,Uqui inocula m ; recommended. Otherwise growth is iJmore oppc ui ty for contamination. Once grain spawn is grown out, a single ha f gallon of spawn

;2fi j inoculate 5-10 5 lbs. bags of sterilized hardwood sawdust or finely ch .redce, al

^^■^^u^kioculation is chosen for transfer into sterilized sawdust, two lium grown out in 100 x 15 mm. petri dishes is recommended per 1000 ml c t sterile wate m inocufunTis then transfer atarateof5 ml.per5 h.b ^f^^^Jg^ ulated, this species enjoys frequent shaking, at least w o ekl untJMcolon

- g cultures have matured, they m be used for expansion „to:^SSf-sterilized bulk ( iwdust or straw) at a rate of 1:10. Again thorough shahng on a weekly basis is cnti cal for complete colonization

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