The How Lee Mushroom Company Comes To Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park – Minimal Environmental Impact – Creates Jobs – Removes Waste


The world famous How Lee Mushroom, said to be the most sought-after mushroom by top chefs in the world, is coming to the Big Island.

The How Lee Mushroom is only found in China’s Volcano National Geological Park (Tengchong County) but will now be ‘Hawai’i Grown.’ This deal was made because Volcano National Geological Park is the sister national park to our own Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park.

The recent Kilauea eruption exposed a long-dormant lava tube. Park officials were simply going seal off the lava tube for safety reasons. Then it was discovered that the heat, volcanic soil and darkness could be the perfect growing the specialty How Lee Mushroom.

Since mushrooms, like all fungi, thrive in moist environments. Mushrooms need moist growing media such as compost or manure. The lava tubes will use cow waste from many of the Big Island dairy farms. No longer will cow manure have to be dumped into streams and pollute Hawaiian waters.

China’s Volcano National Geological Park administrator, Yung Pheul, calls this a great opportunity for our two parks to work together and to be able to find employment for so many of our Chinese citizens laid off at Chinese coal mines.

When Hawaiian officials were asked about Chinese workers coming to the Big Island to work the mushroom plant, Keanu Kamakawiwoʻole (no relation to the singer) said, “Chinese workers were a key component of us permitting this plant. We won’t be losing any jobs in Hawaii. We didn’t want this new industry stealing workers from any existing hospitality services.”

National Park Products

Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park officials also praised the minimal environmental impact it would have within the park saying, “Less than 50 trucks per day will enter and leave the park once How Lee Mushrooms is operating at full capacity. Besides the trucks are pretty small and they shouldn’t disturb our visitors, much.”
Additionally, HVNP officials stated, “This will give the park the ability to recover some lost revenues we incurred during the eruption by having the How Lee workers eat at our park facilities. We will definitely be adding more native Chinese meals. We expect our visitors to also enjoy our expanded menus. I have sampled their deep-fried chicken’s feet, and, well it is absolutely delicious with Wutang poke. That will be the first item we add to our restaurant.”

The Kona Coffee Farmers Association is already in talks with How Lee Mushroom to use coffee grounds waste to create a new, boutique mushroom flavor.

The Governor of Hawaii was also proud to point out possible future economic collaborations referring to new studies showing medical marijuana plants find lava tubes extremely conducive for growing.

To learn more about ‘How Lee’ click here.