Agaricus mushroom production utilizing local substrate materials
Small and mid-size farms are facing significant challenges in Hawaii: Tax laws, leasing difficulties, water, labor, and transportation are all problems for small and mid-size farms' sustainability, while increasing urbanization and growing pressure from developers to use agricultural land for resort and subdivision development continues to keep living costs high for both city and rural residents. Policy makers are very concerned about Hawaii's heavy dependence on imported food and lack of economic diversification. The increasing cost of transportation and interest in increasing the local food supply is expected to promote Hawaii agricultural operations that produce a high value product and/or do not rely heavily on imported inputs. OCR is committed to bringing the cultivation of Agaricus mushrooms to Hawaii, providing small and mid-sized farms with an alternative and diversified source of income. However, an Agaricus mushroom industry in Hawaii is not economically feasible until local materials can be substituted for the conventional substrate and casing materials currently used (hay/straw mixes and peat moss for casings). This multi-phase research proposal will determine the feasibility of developing substrate (Phase I) and casing materials (Phase II) from local materials to provide mushroom "kits" (Phase II) to farmers, initiating a mushroom industry in Hawaii. Phase I of this project involves the investigation of local materials, tree trimmings and grass, into composted substrate that can be utilized in a successful mushroom cultivation/production system. To provide feasibility data, a control mushroom group using conventional substrate materials will be grown during each cycle of the test runs. This control mushroom group will provide comparative data to evaluate how the mushrooms perform when grown on a variety of test substrates made from local materials. An innovative, tropical mushroom production system will be developed by OCR's team of experts, working collaboratively to manage components of cultivation, fertilization, disease and pest issues. A variety of questions must be addressed in order to cultivate mushrooms for this project, including the collection of green waste, composting, constructing the necessary substrate, cultivating the mushrooms, managing production risks, and harvesting/cataloging mushrooms.
Small Business Information at Submission:
59 589 KE IKI STE B Haleiwa, HI 96712
Number of Employees: