Yesterday was one month since I opened my first set of bags and looking back, I will say there has been good progress, interesting lessons and the breadth taking experiences…
So far, So good
I have been able to get three regular buyers for my produce and that has served me well in terms of the numbers. Even on occasions where demand is low, I have the option of harvesting and then drying them in the sun for sale at a later date. With every harvest and sale, I get a certain sense of fulfillment and the strength to fight on.
Not too long after the fourth set of compost bags were opened, I added snail rearing to my list of trial projects. I started with two snails one big and one small that were picked for me from somewhere in the Central region of Ghana.
In my mind, Snails were supposed to be easy to handle organisms in terms of housing, feeding, care etc. so I decided to add them on to my project not on a large scale though but just so I could learn more about them. Snails can be pest depending on what situation you find them in and their usefulness also is largely defined by whether they are edible or not.
I used a wooden box covered with strips of carton paper and for the first few days I fed them with anything green I could lay my hands on. They seemed to cope well but I realized they were not eating much of what I had served them with so I changed their housing, this time into an old water tank filled with soil and I also varied their feed (I included left over cassava, mushroom waste, water melon etc).
Then the unexpected happened
It was an early sunny morning . I was doing my usual rounds when I found out that the bigger of the two snails was not showing any sign of activity so I turned it over to be sure …
And to my surprise, there was the snail lying lifeless before my eyes. I felt helpless or rather sorry but I had learned my lesson. Never again will I be so careless about what I feed my snails with. Though I am left with just one now, I am glad to say its growth has been steady and I am just getting ready to add some more to see how it goes.
Every time I remember the many disappointments I’ve had along the way, I remind myself of the fact that when you first take a step at something – you will “gain” some and you will definitely “loose” some. The good thing is you get better with each experience as long as you don’t give up.
To follow the next issues in this series go to The Mushrooms Blog.