Growing Gourmet & Medicinal Mushrooms (Book Review)
Growing Gourmet & Medicinal Mushrooms. By Paul Stamets. Published by 10-Speed Press, 3rd ed., #1580081754, 594 pages, c2000, $45 (the c1993 printing doesn't list an edition, and is still widely available, new, for at least $10 less than the c2000). The book is considered and is listed as a companion guide to, ""The Mushroom Cultivator", written by the same author, and often considered the "bible" of mushroom growers. Stamets is also the author of, "Mycelium Running - How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World" (touting the environmental benefits to mushroom cultivation due to its ability to breakdown hydrocarbons) & "Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World" (presumably, the benefits to this one might be more personal than environmental).
This isn't really a review, more of a notice (I haven't read the book, only browsed it, and admit I know almost nothing of the subject matter), and a question. I was reminded of this book when I saw several copies on the special-order shelf in the main Metromedia bookstore, in Tegucigalpa (c2005). They were on hold for someone in or taking them to Somoto Nicaragua, as that was printed with a giant Sharpie marker, right on the bookmark order ticket. Later that year a friend saw the same book for sale in a Chinese grocery store in San Pedro Sula, and also saw a copy in the U.S. Embassy property-sale auction in the capital. A few months ago another friend picked up a copy at a bookstore in Santa Rosa de Copan, though he also had seen a street seller with a battered copy of the same in Managua.
I haven't seen much of anything on this topic here in Honduras, nor in Nicaragua. In both countries, I have rarely seen mushrooms at any food store or market. The exception would be the occasional fresh mushroom varieties from Guatemala - but they are grossly overpriced, and often stores either get them via Guatemala=U.S.=Honduras, or the seller is simply using U.S. prices.
I was merely curious if anyone knew of someone producing mushrooms in Honduras or Nicaragua on a larger scale, and if so, if it was viewed as an export-only "crop". This book is massive, at nearly 600 pages, and it appears to cover, literally, everything - so along with the companion volume, it is hard to believe someone could need more information than this (but, again, I am not an expert on the field). While it lists for $45, the copies in Honduras were the same price at discount online sellers, less than $35. I am not sure if Managua has a bookstore comparable to Metromedia. Unless their policy has changed recently, they order almost any in-stock book you see listed in main online bookstores of in Books-in-Print volumes, and usually sell for suggested retail. While you do not get the discounted online price, you also do not incur international shipping charges, IVA, nor any special-order fees. I was curious because the book seems to be getting around, but mushrooms haven't really debuted anywhere I have been - but I havent been "everywhere" in the two countries...