Sierra Leone 8/7/19


Mushroom Team Blog

Today Marc and I created mushrooms grow bags. We sterilized straw at 160 degree or above for 45 minuets on a coal fire. After that we left our straw to dry in the mushroom house. After is was dry we sterilized all out materials and hands using gin (isopropyl is too expensive) we inoculated our grow bags. This means we added three cup fulls of Summer Oyster Mycelium (this probably amounted to 1 measuring cup).

Additionally, I ran test of the water from the faucet we are using to grow mushrooms on. The results are listed below.

Water Test Results:

Total nitrate 2.0 – 10 PPM (mg/L) much closer to 10 call it 9 

Nitrite 0 – .2 nitrite PPM  (mg/L) call it 0.0

Copper test – Between 0.0 and 0.05 PPM (MG/L) of copper call it 0.0

Lead – POSTIVE greater than 15 PPB – (second line darker than first line = constant positive, see photo below) 

pH- very low – inconsistent because total alkalinity is less than 80 ppm but shows between 2.0 and 4.0. Is not accurate. 

Total alkalinity – between 0 and 40 significantly closer to 0

Total Chlorine PPM  – between .2 and 1, call it .6

Total Hardness PPM – between 0 and 50, call it 30

We have been emailing Dr. Pecchia at Penn State and talking to other advisers about the lead levels and interpreting the rest of the tests. The bacteria test results will not be readable for another 48 hours.

The real goal of today was to show Jawara everything that we are doing. He learned some new vocabulary and is really starting to understand our process. I have no doubt that by the time we leave Jawara will be able to continue everything that Marc and I have been doing. Additionally, Emmanuel started working with us today and is eager to help progress our venture.

The mushroom structure will need more work. Marc and I have planned out a way for each section of the mushroom grow house to have different amounts of light and air circulation so we can put each grow bag in an environment that suits its needs no matter what stage in its grow cycle its in. Hopefully we will be improving the structure over our time here. Right now, we are storing our two grow bags on shelves in the conference room because it is too hot or two bright in our mushroom house rooms. With any luck the two grow bags will be colonized with mycelium within two weeks and will then be ready to be moved to our fruiting room within the mushroom house.


That’s all for today!

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