Do you like mushrooms? Did you know there are 14,000 species of mushrooms..
What are mushrooms? – they are a fungus – so why am I eating them?
A leaflet was posted in the Vibrant Vegan Association group about purchasing mushrooms. So, I arranged a visit to the ‘cropping house’ in Dodowa where I could purchase some mushrooms from the proprietor Mr Dziedzom de Souza.
Yay or Nay – Growing up I did not like mushrooms because of I considered fungus is not food, didn’t like the shape and slimy taste. A few years after I stopped eating meat, I reconsidered, as my friend uses mushrooms in her cooking as a meat substitute. So fast forward, I started eating them gradually and experimenting cooking ideas – but mainly used button mushrooms.
Mushrooms by Steliads Farms – Mr Dziedzom de Souza is a young Ghanaian (with also Brazilian Ancestory); who saw the financial benefits and global opportunities of cultivating oyster mushrooms. He started Steliads Farm in September 2021
Cropping House – We entered a cropping house where 4000 grow bags were neatly stacked. Dziedzom explained the process for growing the mushrooms. Inside the grow bags was a mixture of sawdust, rice bran and other ingredients which had already been composted, prepared and sterilised, added with mushroom spawn – which mature up to 6 weeks whilst in incubation.
(incubation of mushrooms)
Vital to ensure room is at a cool temperature anything from 10 – 25C, depending on the variety of oyster mushroom. Water is sprayed over the bags every morning and evening. The mushrooms will start growing at different rates but on average once the ends start to curl which is within 5 days, then can be harvested. Simply by pulling out entire mushroom from the base, then cut off the ends. Mushrooms will continue to grow from the bags for up to 3 months.
(cropping room – the top of bags cut off)
(mushrooms growing within 5 days)
Health Nutrients – Mushrooms are nutritionally and low in energy and fat but high in protein, carbohydrate, and dietary fibre. They contain a variety of minerals, potassium, copper and vitamins.
Taste Test – I purchased both fresh (300g @ 10 cedis) and dried mushrooms (100g @ 35 cedis). The dried mushrooms are dehydrated and can last up to 12 months when stored appropriately. I have not tried and cooked dried ones before – so wondering what to do with them.
That same day I fried some fresh mushrooms to add to my vegetables and the following day added to my stir fry.
In the future Dziedzom hopes to open more cropping houses, export and even start growing button mushrooms. I wish him the best of luck and will definitely purchase more mushrooms.
bless Sister E