Sierra Leone 8/12/19

8/12/19

Mushroom Team Blog

Last week  Marc and I worked on grow bags but today we finally got to grain spawn. We taught Jawara the process of boiling grains and draining it and pressure cooking it. It is really important that we get uncontaminated grain spawn here in Sierra Leone. The spawn is not something that we can import for other countries or at the very best we can’t import it affordably.

Overall, you need grain to create every bag, and we will eventually run out. If we don’t get more this venture can’t be successfully, at least until we can import more. No pressure.

Vapor kept escaping the pressure cooker without our gauge changing at all. I believe the problem is that our pressure cooker is not a fan of dirt and caused some issues with the pressure gauge while sterilizing. In the end we left it on as long as was possible and are hoping for the best. At this point Marc and I are pretty good at judging when something is or isn’t done. This is great as long as Marc and I are here but once we leave we take our expertise with us. Jawara and Emanuel lack some of the patience that Marc and I have built up from working on mountaintop. However, we have been working on a detailed plan with pictures, times, and temperature instructions we should be leaving Jawara in a good place to continue our work.

Earlier in the day Marc and Jawara arranged for Sheku to come look at our structure again. Unfortunately the timing didn’t match up for him to meet with us today but we promised he would come around 9 tomorrow morning. We are arranging for him to put a tin roof over one section and dark walls to make a fruiting room. This will have cooler temperatures and more darkness than our other room. The material we are using for these walls is up for debate. The black plastic raises the temperature of the room, the blue tarp isn’t very durable, and using thatched palm fronds is cheaper but might invite more bugs and isn’t as long lasting.

Understandably every material we pick has its ups and downs so Marc and I need to figure out what the final cost of all the materials will be and get Jawara’s opinion and this will be the final deciding factors in our decision.

 

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