8/19/19 Sierra Leone

This is Belle typing for Jawara bringing you today’s blog.

Hello this is Mohammad Saio Jawara just to extend my greeting to the entire staff of Mushroom Team and students of Lehigh University and the United States. I am so happy to work with the team and I believe that working with the students at Lehigh is a great opportunity for me. So I would like to congratulate the professor Khanjan and the entire student body who make it possible to be in Sierra Leone and help elevate the poverty and hunger in our country. Thank you very much.

Well, with the mushroom we started it in 2018 with a team from Lehigh who made some trials but it was very unfortunate we were unable to get mushroom growing out of the experiment. But, with the intervention of the professors we think that this might not be the end of it, we must try harder to make it work. In 2019 Khanjan brought another Lehigh student by the name of Belle and Marc who did some trials and with these trials I believe we’ll have success and we must see that this project becomes a viable project. I know with all the experiments we have done with the students we are on the right track. Maybe it will be fruitful for us very soon.

Thanks so much for contributing Jawara!

As we are winding down our trip here Marc and I have been reflecting on our propose and impact. While on the outside our project might look like a few college students running around reorganizing bags of mycelium every day we are focused and creating a lasting impact on the Sierra Leonian infrastructure and habits regarding agriculture. We aim to leave those we work with with a mindset focused on sustainability and feasibility.

The update is, we have opened one grow bag so far, it may have been opened too early (*cough* *cough* *Marc!!!* *cough* *cough*) and has dried out. We have several more bags nearing fruiting and one which has show the tell tale signs of bunching. Two of our 5 grain spawn attempts have been successful and one will be ready W e aim to open that right before we leave Makeni on Wednesday and will be hoping from a call from Jawara while we are in Freetown saying “We got it!”.

These past couple days we have been testing grain types trying both millet and red rice. We want to leave Jawara with several pounds of spawn to continue making bags although eventually Jawara will have to mast the spawn process as well.

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