Sierra Leone 8/13/19


Mushroom Team Blog

Let’s go shopping!!

Today first Marc and I took Emanuel and Jawara to the market and got the materials we will need to repair the second section of our mushroom house. The original plan was for the first section of our mushroom house to be the fruiting room. However, usually the fruiting temperatures for our culture is 70 to 85 degrees and the first section was much too hot. The remedy to this is making the first section a drying or streaming room. The once drying room that is the second section will now be converted to our fruiting room. So now that this was decided on we needed to plan a layout that will allow for convection. Bakar, Emanuel, Marc, Jawara, and I drove to the part of the market where all the timber is found. We found that a corrugated metal roof allows for more circulation. Additionally, once we thought about it we can leave a large gap to the left side of the center of the roof which will be covered by metal from the right side. This unusual gap won’t allow rain in but it will allow air out. The rainy season really impacts all of our construction decision. Our concluded market trip resulted with 9 2 by 4 pieces of wood to rest our metal roof on, the metal roof, and many cases of four-inch nails. The real challenge will be finding a day sunny enough to construct.

After every batch of substrate we prepare we have been choosing with grain spawn to use.  The “special” culture we brought over is called pink oyster. This culture is supposedly more vivacious, doesn’t require refrigeration, and is better at out competing bacteria than other oyster strains. Unfortunately, everything we had heard about this strand appears to be false because it is nearly dead.  This now creates a shortage of spawn available to make grow bags, so we have to be careful about how much or each strain we use so we don’t kill the other two cultures we have brought with us. In time the grain spawn bags we have been creating will become healthy enough to start grow bags with second generation spawn. But healthy spawn takes time so for how Marc and I have to stop making so many grow bags. Our initial few days in Sierra Leone we made enough to hopefully leave Jawara with a few fruiting bags. Creating literature is our new goal. A list of all the steps to take to make grain spawn, substrate, and grow bags will be very helpful to Jawara once we leave. And regretfully we are leaving very soon. This disappointing fact is held off only by the look of our current grow bags which show white healthy mycelium colonizing the bags without any contamination. Yay!