Non Technical Summary
Rising demand for shiitake (Lentinus edodes) and oyster (Pleurotus spp.) mushrooms represent opportunities for farmers displaced from vertically-integrated livestock markets. Potential growers, however, lack the financial and technical means necessary for efficient production. Specialty mushrooms cultivated artificially, particularly the Pleurotus spp. are highly susceptible to contamination and/or low biological efficiency (BE) and low quality. Further, harvesting and packaging methods are very labor-intensive, resulting in slower production. Expansion of mushroom production and peer/community education on such production will develop new economic markets in rural areas, leading to job creation and increased availability of specialty mushrooms. This proposal will help with the expansion and process improvement of the labor-intensive, relatively inefficient processes currently employed by mushroom farmers. Phase I will test commercial viability of mushroom operations
in the U.S., and begin raising awareness among local and regional customers of the opportunities that exist in domestic mushroom markets. Phase II implementation planning will consider Phase I findings to finalize commercial viability.
Animal Health Component
Research Effort Categories
Goals / Objectives
Hawthorne Mushroom Farms' final object is to prove the sustainability and profitability of domestic mushroom farming operations in a replicable model.
In Phase I, Hawthorne Farms, Inc. (Hawthorne), will test and document methods for growing Pleurotus spp. and Lentinus Edodes mushrooms in greater quantities more efficiently, as well as evaluate its distribution methods. Hawthorne will then create supply line models, and institute just-in-time cultivation based on these findings to create a sustainable operation for mushroom production. In a follow-up Phase II proposal, Hawthorne Mushroom Farms, will begin planning the implementation of the concepts tested during Phase I, which will include implementing equipment improvement plans, establishing internal packaging operations, and creating direct distributorship to local customers.