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Hawaii's gourmet fungal Jungle.

Laupahoehoe is a small town located on the Hamakua Coast The Hamakua Coast (Hawaiian spelling: Hāmākua) is the North-Eastern coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. It comprises the coastal parts of the districts of North Hilo and Hamakua, and parts of the district of South Hilo.  that runs along the northeastern face of the Big Island of Hawaii. Sugar cane fields once dominated the coastline, but now have been replaced with more diverse agricultural crops. The passage of the sugar cane industry in the 1990s was not the only alteration to forever change the appearance of the Hamakua Coast. Hamakua Heritage Farm (HHF HHF High-Heat Flux
HHF Hockey Hall of Fame
HHF Hyper-High Frequency
HHF HappyHour Films
HHF Hunter Harley Fest (motorcycle rally)
HHF HandHeld File Format
HHF Hard House Federation
HHF Hungry Hungry Felhounds
), a facility producing and selling gourmet mushrooms, is an example of the new class of agricultural enterprises to bloom along the this coast.


Bob and Janice Stanga founded HHF in 2000. At first, they struggled to produce 600 pounds of Shiitake shiitake,
n See lentinan.
 and Gray Oyster mushrooms a week. Today, they have a state-of-the-art facility that produces 5,000 pounds of gourmet mushrooms weekly.

Production of Shiitake and Gray Oyster mushrooms was done in bags, using local Koa (Acacia koa For other uses, see KOA.

The koa (Acacia koa; Family Fabaceae) is a large tree endemic to the Hawaiian Islands, primarily Hawaiʻi, Maui and Oahu.
) wood as the base for the substrate. Around 2003 things changed, however, after Bob learned that mushrooms in Brazil were cultivated successfully on sawdust sawdust

used as litter for chickens and bedding for horses. Sawdust made from treated timber may cause pentachlorophenol and other wood preservative poisoning. Fungi growing in sawdust litter in poultry houses may cause poisoning in the birds.
 from Eucalyptus eucalyptus (y'kəlĭp`təs): see myrtle.
 trees. Coincidentally co·in·ci·den·tal  
1. Occurring as or resulting from coincidence.

2. Happening or existing at the same time.

, the Big Island of Hawaii has an abundance of Eucalyptus trees that were planted in the 1990s. After initial tests yielded good results, Eucalyptus became the standard substrate for the farm.

In 2003, HFF HFF Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film München (Germany)
HFF Heartland Film Festival
HFF Hardy Fern Foundation
HFF Half Forward Flank (football position)
HFF Horizontal Flute Factor
 chose to improve efficiency and consistency in mushroom production as well as to develop new species of high quality, fresh mushrooms. The owners developed a consulting relationship with Malcolm Clark and David Law of Gourmet Mushroom, Inc., in Sebastopol, CA, after reading an article about the company in Mushroom News. Clark and Law subsequently helped them to expand their product line and production capacity by becoming automated. Ever since this fruitful venture, HFF has been growing mushrooms using the Japanese technology of bottle cultivation, employs 20 staff members and grows Pleurotus eryngii Pleurotus eryngii (also known as king trumpet mushroom, king oyster mushroom) is an edible mushroom native to Mediterranean regions of Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa, but also grown in parts of Asia. (""Alli [TM]" or "King Oyster" or "Eryngii"), Pleurotus ostreatus ("Gray Oyster"), Hypsizygus marmoreus ("Brown Shimeji", "Kea kea, in zoology
kea: see parrot.

Large, stocky parrot (Nestor notabilis, subfamily Nestorinae) of New Zealand. It lives in mountain habitats and is known for its curious and playful character.
 Shimeji[TM]" or "White Shimeji"), Auricularia cornea cornea: see eye.  ("Pepeiao" or "Wood Ear") and Agrocybe aegerita ("Pioppini" or "Black Poplar black poplar

symbol of bravery. [Plant Symbolism: Flora Symbolica, 176]

See : Bravery

Production of Substrate

The substrate used for growing the mushrooms is composed of sawdust, wheat mill and corncob. The wood comes from trees of Eucalyptus grandis Eucalyptus grandis, Flooded gum, Rose gum, is a medium to tall tree with smooth bark, rough at the base fibrous or flaky, grey to grey-brown.

Leaves are stalked, lanceolate to broad lanceolate, discolorous, to 15 x 3 cm, glossy dark green.
, which are cut into logs of approximately 10-20 inches and ground into small sawdust particles.

The whole corncob (supplied from a company on a neighboring neigh·bor  
1. One who lives near or next to another.

2. A person, place, or thing adjacent to or located near another.

3. A fellow human.

4. Used as a form of familiar address.

 island) also is ground, but to bigger particles (<3mm). The substrates are formulated specifically for the different species of mushroom to be cultivated and the ratios (fresh weight) among sawdust:corncob:wheat mill vary between 6:2:0 and 5:4:1.


The mixer is loaded with all ingredients of the substrate (sawdust, corncob and wheat mill) and mixed for 15-30 minutes. Water is added to keep the moisture between 63 and 67 percent. After mixing, the substrate is carried through a conveyor to a filling bottle machine.

All species are grown in polypropylene bottles with a 4" in diameter, 6.5" in height and 1000 mL in volume. The bottles are covered with a cap containing a polyurethane filter to protect the substrate and the mycelium mycelium

Mass of branched, tubular filaments (hyphae) of fungi (see fungus) that penetrate soil, wood, and other organic matter. The mycelium makes up the thallus (undifferentiated body) of a typical fungus.
 against contaminants and excessive dehydration dehydration

Method of food preservation in which moisture (primarily water) is removed. Dehydration inhibits the growth of microorganisms and often reduces the bulk of food.
; the cap also allows for gas exchange, a necessary factor for mycelium.

Rollers carry plastic trays containing 16 bottles. Each bottle is filled with about 1.5 lb of wet substrate and a hole is made in the center of the substrate to provide aeration aeration /aer·a·tion/ (ar-a´shun)
1. the exchange of carbon dioxide for oxygen by the blood in the lungs.

2. the charging of a liquid with air or gas.

, consequently allowing easier growth of the spawn. Then the bottles are capped automatically and cleaned with air pressure to avoid any residue of substrate that may remain on the trays or between the bottles. Immediately after filling, the bottles are placed in an autoclave autoclave

Vessel, usually of steel, able to withstand high temperatures and pressures. The chemical industry uses various types of autoclaves in manufacturing dyes and in other chemical reactions requiring high pressures.
 and kept at 250 [degrees] F for one hour. The productivity of filling bottles is approximately 2,000 bottles per hour.




Cooling Down Cooling down is the term used to describe an easy, full-body exercise that will allow the body to slowly transition from an exercise mode to a non-exercise mode. Depending on the intensity of the exercise, cooling down can involve a slow jog or walk, or with lower intensities,  & Spawning

After sterilization sterilization

Any surgical procedure intended to end fertility permanently (see contraception). Such operations remove or interrupt the anatomical pathways through which the cells involved in fertilization travel (see reproductive system).
, the autoclave is unloaded on pallets in a clean room and cooled below 80[degrees] F. A tracking sheet for each pallet contains information about the date and time of sterilization and formulation used. Tags are color coded to identify the species and strain to be inoculated.


The trays are moved on rollers to a spawning machine that is kept inside a clean room with HEPA HEPA  
1. high-efficiency particulate air

2. high-efficiency particulate arresting
 filtration and positive air pressure. All equipment is disinfected Disinfected
Decreased the number of microorganisms on or in an object.

Mentioned in: Isolation
 with 70 percent alcohol and UV light (kept on inside the spawning room for 15 minutes prior to the inoculation inoculation, in medicine, introduction of a preparation into the tissues or fluids of the body for the purpose of preventing or curing certain diseases. The preparation is usually a weakened culture of the agent causing the disease, as in vaccination against ).



Spawn, supplied by Gourmet Mushroom Inc. (Sebastopol, CA), is kept in the same kind of bottles as those used for cultivation. Spawn is grown in a sawdust medium base supplemented with nitrogen-organic supplements. The bottles with spawn are refrigerated re·frig·er·ate  
tr.v. re·frig·er·at·ed, re·frig·er·at·ing, re·frig·er·ates
1. To cool or chill (a substance).

2. To preserve (food) by chilling.
 at 38-40[degrees]F and transferred to the spawning room 24 hours prior to the inoculation and kept at 75-77[degrees]E The bottles are uncapped and spawned with a spawning machine at a rate of 1 percent, capped again and transferred by rollers to the incubation room.


The trays with the bottles are placed on pallets (48 trays/pallet) in one of two incubation rooms at 74-77[degrees] F in darkness Adv. 1. in darkness - without light; "the river was sliding darkly under the mist"
. C[O.sub.2] is maintained between 1500 and 2200 ppm. A visual inspection and evaluation of the mycelium growth is done at two and four weeks after spawning. Contaminated contaminated,
v 1. made radioactive by the addition of small quantities of radioactive material.
2. made contaminated by adding infective or radiographic materials.
3. an infective surface or object.
 bottles or ones with slower growth are pulled from the room.


Scraping or "Kinkake"

To stimulate uniform growth of the Shimejis, Gray Oyster and "Alii" mushrooms and to harvest them according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

 a pre-determined schedule, the bottles undergo the process of scraping. The trays are transferred to a scraper See scraping.  machine where the caps are removed automatically and the substrate on top of the bottles is partially removed by blades (approximately 1/2 inches from the upper part of the bottles). The process lasts approximately 15 minutes. For Shimejis, the scraper is rounded (convex shape Noun 1. convex shape - a shape that curves or bulges outward

umbo - a slight rounded elevation where the malleus attaches to the eardrum

solid - a three-dimensional shape

camber - a slight convexity (as of the surface of a road)
) and flat for "Alii" and Gray Oyster. A pallet containing 48 trays (768 bottles) is scraped in 15 minutes. Ten to 20 mL of water is added to each bottle, the trays are stacked on a pallet and transferred to the harvest room with environmental conditions suitable for the initiation of primordia and harvesting.

For Pepeiao and Pioppini, the process of scraping is possible but not necessary. When the substrate is scraped, these mushrooms grow in appealing, uniform sizes; however, the period for primordial primordial /pri·mor·di·al/ (pri-mor´de-al) primitive.

1. Being or happening first in sequence of time; primary; original.

 formation and harvesting becomes too long for these two types of mushrooms, rendering scraping to be less suitable for Pepeiao (14 days) and Pioppini (7 days).





The harvesting is performed manually. Mushrooms are picked when caps are not completely open. To reduce the risk of contamination and pests in the harvest rooms, there is only one harvest at a time. The mushrooms may be placed in plastic bags, boxes or directly in tills to be packed.



Pleurotus eryngii ("Alii [TM]" or "King Oyster" or "Eryngii")

After seven days in the harvesting room, the bottle caps are pulled and harvesting begins approximately 14 days later. Whole clusters are picked and cut with a knife to remove the base and any remaining substrate. Each bottle produces 4.5-6 oz of "Alii[TM]" mushrooms.



Pleurotus ostreatus - "Gray Oyster"

In 2-3 days, gray/white primordia begins to grow and harvesting occurs in 7-10 days. The mushrooms are picked when the biggest mushrooms in a given cluster are approximately 1-2 inches in diameter. Caps are still curved and are dark gray in color. Excess substrate is removed with scissors scissors

Cutting instrument or tool consisting of a pair of opposed metal blades that meet and cut when the handles at their ends are brought together. Modern scissors are of two types: the more usual pivoted blades have a rivet or screw connection between the cutting ends
. Typical production is 3 oz. of fresh mushrooms per bottle.






Hypsizygus marmoreus -"Brown Shimeji," "Kea Shimeji[TM]" or "White Shimeji"

Trays with Shimejis are placed on horizontal racks with three levels. The mycelium starts recovering the top of the substrate and in approximately seven days the primordial formation is observed. Browns are light gray during the first 10 days, becoming darker in about 14 days, when small mushroom caps emerge.





The mushrooms are picked in 21-28 days. When ready to harvest, the entire cluster is easily removed. Color, cap shape and height of the mushroom are all factors that influence the decision to pick a given shimeji by our experienced mushroom harvesters. If harvested too early, the mushrooms will not break away smoothly from the substrate and individual mushrooms will be lost. If picked too late, then complications may occur such as mycelia growth around the stem and reduced shelf life. If necessary, any remaining substrate on the base of the cluster is removed by hand. Each cluster weights 4-7 oz.



Agrocybe aegerita - "Pioppini", "Black poplar"

The bottle caps are removed and misting is performed at least twice a day for the first four days. Small white/light brown mushrooms growing up on top of the substrate are observed when the bottle caps are first removed. The mushroom caps will turn a dark brown or chestnut color after 5-7 days. The harvesting of Pioppini starts 7-12 days after pulling caps. The whole cluster is twisted off and any residual substrate that remains with the mushrooms is removed by hand. Each bottle can produce 3-4 oz.



Auricularia cornea "Pepeiao" or "Wood Ear"

The trays are moved to a harvesting room covered with a plastic net with a temperature of 71-86[degrees]F, light of 1500 lux and relative humidity relative humidity
The ratio of the amount of water vapor in the air at a specific temperature to the maximum amount that the air could hold at that temperature, expressed as a percentage.
 between 70-90 percent. The trays are placed in "V" racks and the caps are checked twice a week until primordial formation (white and then pink turning dark) is observed, at which time the caps are pulled.


The mushrooms are ready to harvest when they reach 0.19-0.39" in diameter, which usually occurs within about two weeks of pulling the caps. Harvesting is done by twisting the whole cluster by hand and removing any remaining substrate with a knife or scissors. Productivity can reach over 6 oz. per bottle.



Packing Room

In the harvest room, mushrooms can either be placed directly into cardboard cases in amounts weighing about 5-6 lb or be sent to the packing room, a temperature-controlled environment, to be packed into plastics tills. Typical orders are for 4, 8 or 16 ounces of mushrooms. Polycarbonate A category of plastic materials used to make a myriad of products, including CDs and CD-ROMs.  tills of various sizes and colors are used for different retail customers, depending on their preference. A very exciting product is the "Gourmet Fungal Jungle[TM]," which consists of either an 8 or 16 ounce package of "Alii[TM]", "Kea Shimeji[TM]" and Brown Shimeji (or Pioppini) combined together in one till. The "Gourmet Fungal Jungle[TM]" is a very popular product with large retail supermarket chains.

Cleaning Bottles

After harvesting, trays are placed on pallets and moved outside of the facility to remove the residual substrate remaining inside the bottles. A bottle cleaning machine is used to remove the substrate. Once bottles are emptied, they are ready to be reused for the cultivation process. The productivity for cleaning is about 1000 bottles per hour.


The spent substrate is sold to local farmers, who come with their trucks and buy the material directly at the farm. Currently, HFF is in the process of working with a local organic soil expert to develop an enriched compost product.


Hamakua Mushrooms are currently sold in 77 supermarkets and over 200 restaurants and resorts statewide. Some chefs on the mainland specifically request "Alii[TM]" or "Kea Shimeji[TM]." Hawaiian wholesale companies also have expressed interest in shipping Hawaiian-grown mushrooms to the mainland.


New projects

A laboratory for spawn production is to be built soon and will enable HHF to develop the cultivation of exotic mushrooms as well as new species of mushrooms from Hawaii.

The Chef's House is a new project that is nearly completed. It will be used for cooking demonstrations, television programs and community events that focus on products from local farms. The Chef's House is shaped like a mushroom and includes a bedroom to accommodate a guest chef, a kitchen and a deluxe BBQ/Grill on the deck with a spectacular ocean view. The house is surrounded by a tropical fruit orchid orchid, popular name for members of the Orchidaceae, a family of perennial herbs widely distributed in both hemispheres. The unusually large family (of some 450 genera and an estimated 10,000 to 17,500 species) includes terrestrial, epiphytic (see epiphyte), and , a beautiful herb garden and the natural beauty of Laupahoehoe.



A gift shop is being developed for selling a variety of mushroom related products, tee shirts, hats and mushroom-inspired cosmetics. A tasting room is being designed for sampling new products derived from mushrooms. The gift shop will be coordinated with specialty farm tours, enabling visitors from far and wide to see how HFF grows and prepares mushrooms for our customers.

Hamakua Heritage Farm, Inc. continues to strive for excellence through research and development. At the same time, they value their employees by being sensitive to their lifestyle, the diverse culture and the community.
Table 1: Period of incubation

Mushroom                       Days of incubation

Pleurotus eryungii                          45-60
Pleurotus ostreatus                         21-25
Hypsizygus marmoreus                        75-90
Anricularia cornea                          35-50
Agrocybe aegerita                           45-60

Table 2: Environment in the harvesting room and days for harvesting.

Mushroom              Temperature   Humidity  CO2 (ppm)  Days
                      ([degrees]F)  (%)

Pleurotus eryingii      63-65         80-90    400-1000  14-21
Pleurotus ostreatus     63-65         80-95     400-800   7-10
Hypsizygus marmoreus    62-64         90-95   1200-1600  21-28
Auricularia cornea      71-86         70-90        <400  15-21
Agrocybe aegerita       63-65         90-95   1200-1600   7-12
COPYRIGHT 2008 American Mushroom Institute
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Title Annotation:mushroom biology
Author:Filho, Joao Kopytowski
Publication:Mushroom News
Date:Jul 1, 2008
Previous Article:Research & review.
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