Mushroom Farming in Bali
Written by Leeland Gentry
When discussing the projects of LEAP academy with friends and family I have consistently gotten skeptical eyes and chuckles out of people, especial when explaining our idea to start selling a “homegrown mushroom kits”. Living in Indonesia the common hallucinogenic mushroom, Panaeolus cyanescens, is the first thing people think about when discussing the subject of mushrooms, but in fact we will be selling the even more commonly known mushroom, locally known as the oyster mushroom or jamur tiram. The kit is extremely simple, all the buyer has to do is cut the bag open after 1 week and keep it moist in order to produce up to 500 grams of mushrooms over a three-week period.
The money that is made is going to the LEAP Academy in order to start our construction of the 1V geodesic dome, an extremely simple design but a very difficult field to work in when working with bamboo due to lack of experience within our LEAP crew. The purpose of the dome is to start growing our own mushroom bags to be sold at farmers markets and here in school. As of now we are buying the bags pre-inoculated with the spore, but we plan to produce a product that is made from renewable resources, whereas now we are buying the bags covered in a plastic film that can not be reused.
Through these projects we take on smaller responsibilities to educate ourselves in specific areas to gain the experience of many subjects. Yesterday we were all put to the task of outsourcing our product and putting our mushroom bags onto the shelves within the next week. We organized two farmers markets sales and a table at our school on Fridays, all in one day. This is part of our goal; we want to be able to gain the skills of a business, being communication, outsourcing and sales in order to make the money to start a full self-sufficient business.