Monday, August 24, 2009

Mushroom House

This 2 day training was about how to set up a mushroom growing business. First step is to build a house to grow them in. People here know how to do this - the materials are gathered locally: wood poles, grass for a fence to protect the house from goats and even inner bark of young trees for rope, although in this case we used nails.

Meanwhile others chopped corn stalks into small pieces which were washed to remove dirt and mold spores and spread on mats to dry.

Sanitation is important to prevent contamination which would spoil batch and waste time and money. We wash hands with soap and water then disinfect with mentholated spirits.

Here the substrate (chopped corn stalks) are packed into plastic bags and inoculated with Oyster mushroom spoors.

Here is the finished house. The frame is covered with plastic to keep out dirt and keep in moisture and heat. There are shelves inside where the plastic bags are placed. In about 6 weeks mushrooms will begin popping through the plastic and they can be harvested for 3 or 4 months. This project requires daily attention and good management.

At the end Mr Chaonya thanked us for our work. He is a retired extension worker who is well educated and does many interesting and unusual (for here) things like grafting, budding and raising peaches and apples.

Here is our PC crew, Mr Chaonya and a couple of guys who helped build the house. I am in the middle, back row with the hat.



Even though it is just little bits of electricity flying through the ether the contents of this blog are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the US government or the Peace Corps.