Elf Farm Supplies Pty Ltd About Us Phase II and III is serviced with chillers and cooling towers which supply 2700kW of cooling capacity. Compost is initially levelled to a consistent temperature then After bale wetting, the bales are transferred into the Prewet Shed. Bales are broken and mixed with other ingredients using a Mobile Blender. Water is also added through this mixing process. The ricks are turned, blended and water added to further promote the composting process over the following days. Fresh air is supplied through air pipes underneath the ricks to keep the process aerobic. This method was first developed at the Elf Farm Supplies site and is now standard industry practice throughout the world. The roof of the Prewet Shed is constructed of wood and fastened with stainless steel nails. This is due to the high ammonia environment which corrodes metal but preserves wood. Phase I As in the Prewet Shed, fresh air is supplied through air pipes underneath the bunkers to control compost temperatures and oxygen levels and keep the process aerobic. The compost is blended a number of times and has water added to adjust the moisture content. Exhaust air is passed through a Bioscrubber and discharged up the stack. Strict odour control practices are in place to meet our EPA licence conditions. Phase II heated for 8 hours to pasteurise the compost. Phase II is designed to kill unwanted pathogens and to create an ideal nutrient and bio- logical medium for mycelium development. After pasteurisation, the compost is conditioned at 45 to 50 degrees Celsius for 3-4 days. Phase III Pre-Wet Bales are pre-wet and allowed to heat up to remove the waxy layer from the straw and to initiate the composting process. Phase II and III comprises 22 tunnels which are each 40 metres long and 4 metres wide. A chamber located underneath the concrete slat floor enables circulation of air up through the compost in each tunnel. Phase I compost is loaded into the tunnels using a cassette filler which is a system of conveyors that extend into the tunnels. The compost is placed on top of a pulling net, which enables subsequent removal from the tunnel. Each tunnel holds up to 200 tonnes of Phase 1 compost that will finally reduce to 150 tonnes of Phase 3 compost. The Phase II process is computer controlled using fresh and recir- culated air to control compost temperatures and oxygen levels. Each tunnel has a dedicated air intake and fan system. Air is passed through a series of filters to remove particles down to 4 mi- crons absolute. Filtration is important to prevent the introduction of competitor species. After Phase II is complete, the Phase III process commences which involves the addition of spawn to the compost. This operation is undertaken following intensive cleaning and disinfecting. It is imperative that “sterile” conditions are created to prevent infection of the compost with unwanted pathogens that can impede mushroom growth. Phase II material is removed from the tunnel using a pulling winch, inoculated with spawn and returned to another tunnel using a cassette filler. The Phase III process is fully computer controlled to create environmental and biological conditions that maximise mushroom mycelium development. Phase III material is removed from the tunnels using a pulling winch. Some Customers require the addition of a protein supplement during ship out. The supplement is added at nominated rates during the transfer from the tunnels to the trucks/blocking line. White Prince trailers with the capacity to carry 25 tonnes each are used to transport compost to farms in bulk. Each trailer is fitted with a walking floor and a conveyor to transfer material to unloading conveyors located at the farms. Load time is only 12 mins. Phase III Blocks Some of the Phase III compost is then manufactured into blocks. The length of the process from commencement of Pre-wet to ship out is approximately 6—7 weeks. Mushroom harvesting com- mences a further two weeks after delivery to the farm. Compost Production Process Elf Farm Supplies Pty Ltd was established at it’s present site at Mulgrave in 1981. We are proud to be a wholly owned Australian Company. Since 1990, Elf Farm Supplies has expanded rapidly. With the environmental and economic pressures placed on the industry, new and innovative ways of producing mushroom compost have been tested and implemented. Today, Elf Farm Supplies is one of the leading compost producers in Australia. We are the largest agricultural enterprise in the Hawkesbury and the only supplier in the Sydney region. Our products are supplied throughout Australia and are integral to the success of the Australian Mushroom Industry.