Photo via Shutterstock.
“Magic Mushrooms” refers to any of 180 or so species of mushrooms found around the world that contain the naturally occurring psychedelic drugs psilocybin and psilocin. The most common strain on today’s black market is Psilocybe cubensis.
As with most psychedelics, how psilocybin causes its effects in the brain is only dimly understood. Recent research shows that rather than increasing brain activity (as had been thought) the chemical reduces activity, particularly in the “hubs” that connect sensory regions and help organize the constant barrage of stimuli into a sense of stable “selfhood.” With self-consciousness lifted and stimuli “disorganized,” the brain region involved in dreaming during sleep is increasingly activated. This puts us in a dreamlike state in which our senses feel heightened—sometimes to the extent that we hallucinate.
Although psilocybin mushrooms have been used since prehistoric times, mainstream America’s first exposure came via anthropologist Robert Gordon Wasson’s pioneering 1957 photo-essay “Seeking the Magic Mushroom,” for Life magazine. His trip to Mexico to take the psychedelic fungi with the shamans of Oaxaca caught the public’s imagination and is often cited as the root of the counter-culture’s interest.
Among the starry-eyed psychedelic explorers who followed Wasson’s lead was a certain Timothy Leary, who went on to dose Allen Ginsberg, Ken Kesey and other future figures in the psychedelic scene via the Harvard Psilocybin Project. The rest, as they say, is history. What was once the preserve of medicine men was now part of any self-respecting hippie’s drug buffet. By 1970 magic mushrooms use was so widespread that Wasson spoke of his regrets about the publicity his essay brought to the Mazatec culture, and the lack of ritualistic and cultural significance that mushrooms hold for latter-day consumers. Today, actress Susan Sarandon and ex-CNN reporter Amber Lyon are among those who publicly acknowledge being fans.
For all its cultural heritage, psilocybin’s most significant contribution to humanity may turn out to be medical. Exciting research has focused on the drug’s ability to treat OCD, PTSD, depression and anxiety—even the terror of impending death in patients with terminal illness—with highly promising results. The loosening of restrictions on such research will likely bring more good news.
‘Shrooms are the first psychedelic experience that many of us have. Following our explorations of readers’ first experiences with ecstasy and LSD, Substance.com asked 10 people two simple questions: Do you remember the first time? And where did your initial experience lead?
1. Singin’ in the Rain
Eric, 46, an EMT technician in the Bronx, NY
My first time: A buddy of mine called TJ had gotten some—this was 30 years ago. We were hanging out in these old baseball fields, three of us had taken’ ‘em, and I thought it wasn’t working. It was one of those real humid, heavy New York summers. I’d taken maybe a couple of grams—ate ‘em down, washed it back with a 40. Then there’s a rumble of thunder, and, man, the skies just opened. We’re all screaming and running for cover, and I don’t know if it was the shock of the rain, but I realized it was happening. I was tripping. Hard.
It was beautiful, man. I remember looking at the rain through the streetlights, and seeing these intricate, three-dimensional patterns that you could almost reach out and touch. They were very geometric and huge—you could get lost in them—but everything seemed very precise. I looked over at TJ and he was sitting there in the rain and the mud, holding out his hand catching raindrops and looking at them, with a big grin on his face. I’d never thought of the city as beautiful before, but it looked so beautiful that night. Just alive with colors and all kinds of prettiness. I wish it always looked like that.
Where it went from there: We did it a few times, but you know in the Bronx in the ’70s, ‘shrooms weren’t easy to get. TJ ended up getting strung out on angel dust and I lost contact with him. I can’t remember the last time I did any head drugs. These days I like my booze and that’s about it.
2. Funny That Way
Sara, 26, a student in Washington, DC
My first time: I’ve always been interested in trying mushrooms, but up until recently pot had been my only real drug experience. However, my friend Tom bought some on the Internet. We took them before we hit a festival. I was a little worried about going out while tripping, but Tom had done mushrooms plenty and said he’d look after me. Honestly, it was a glorious experience. We smoked a little pot, but no booze, and it was just incredible.
Music had never sounded like that to me before, and what I really took away from it was just how funny everything was. It was very different from how I imagined it—like in the movies where you see things that aren’t there. Everything had these kind of colored trails, but it was more just a sense of complete wellbeing. The only unpleasant thing was that I kept burping up this rancid mushroom taste all day. That and I insisted on taking off my shoes because I wanted to “feel the earth through my feet,” lost them in the crowd and had to get home barefoot.
Where it went from there: I’ve done it a few times. It’s one of my favorite things to do. I’ve found that I don’t like to be inside when I’m tripping—the most fun I’ve had on ‘shrooms is when I’m out in forests, parks and the like. I plan to continue using them as long as they remain fun!
3. Dead Man’s Feet
Terrance, 36, a teacher in New Jersey
My first time: I grew up in a small town in the North of England where mushroom season was a big deal. People would try to be up early enough to scavenge the best of the crop, which grew wild in the hills surrounding our town, to dry them out for sale. A guy I played in a band with had a nice little business going, and as well as keeping him in weed and booze, his side-gig meant he always had an excess of ‘shrooms at his house.
I was 16 at the time, and he had concocted a vat of mushroom tea—a vile-tasting concoction created by steeping the ‘shrooms for hours in warm water and lemon juice. It basically tasted like dead man’s feet—and that’s being generous. However it was extremely potent, as you could ingest a greater amount that way—it was easier to chug a pint of vile-tasting water than it was to eat 20 of the bloody things. It was a wild night. Our band used to hang out in a real dump that we ironically dubbed “the Manor”—a house owned by my mate’s landlord father that he couldn’t rent out on the grounds that it was condemned. As my mind began to burst apart into fractal insanity, we could no longer stay with those oppressive, peeling walls. We ran around in the fields, whooping like madmen, flashing torches at each other. The next day I felt like I’d been punched repeatedly in the stomach. It took me a while to realize I’d hurt my muscles laughing so hard.
Where it went from there: I did mushrooms on a few occasions after that, but moving away from my home meant the opportunities to do them became limited. As I’ve gotten older it’s more an issue of time: I prefer short-acting drugs, because what 36-year-old father has a spare eight hours to trip? But I’m sure that mushrooms and I will cross paths again.
4. Don’t Feed the Animals
Andrew, 34, a writer in New York City
My first time: When I was 22, I was in Holland with some friends and we bought some unappetizing-looking goods from a head shop. When we took the ‘shrooms, the experienced people made sure there were sugary drinks to hand in case we wanted to dampen the effects—turned out, I’d be glad of that. After some initial tinting visuals, the people I was with began turning into somewhat threatening (but still facially recognizable) animals. The guy sitting next to me became a leering orangutan. A girl who stood up, high, and began massaging my shoulders became a praying mantis—the last thing you want jabbing you from behind. When cobwebs started shooting out of my mouth, I gulped down orange squash, terrified, and never went back.
Where it went from there: I had awful experiences with every hallucinogen I tried and wouldn’t want to do them again. To be fair, I combined them with alcohol and marijuana, which wasn’t a great idea. But give me booze or cocaine any day.
5. Friends Indeed
Miguel, 23, a musician in Valencia, Spain
My first time: I learnt that it’s important to have good people around you when you trip. The first time I did I was 16 and with friends from school. Mushrooms were very cheap and easily available in my hometown—a lot easier to get than cannabis or ecstasy. We did it in a friend’s house. I chewed them up until they were a paste. At first I thought nothing was happening but then I noticed that time had starting moving strangely—jumping forward, almost. One of the boys I was with saw the look on my face and said, “He’s tripping.” Then the bastard started trying to freak me out! He kept waving his hands on my face saying they were bats. It didn’t freak me out but it did annoy me, so I left.
The walk home was very strange. The town looked different, and even though I grew up there I somehow got lost. The lights from shop windows looked very beautiful. Somebody said, “Are you all right?” and I realized I had been standing for what seemed like a very long time, just staring into the window of a closed up shop. I knew what I really needed was peace and quiet, so I got home and managed to get to bed without bumping into my mother. I put on some headphones and listened to music. By then I must have been coming down because the effects were less, but still nice. I had many strange thoughts and waking dreams. The mushrooms had powered up my imagination, so it was almost like watching a movie in my head. When I woke up I’d been asleep for a good 10 hours and felt great!
Where it went from there: I didn’t do it again for a couple of years. The next time I did it I was in college, with a girl I liked. It was much more fun, not being stuck with some dumb kid who wanted to mess with your head.
6. Dutch Courage
Samantha, 28, a PA in Los Angeles
My first time: The first time I did ‘shrooms was on a trip to Holland back in 2007. We knew you could get weed there—duh—but I had no idea that they sold mushrooms. We bought some from a little place in The Hague—they called them “Smart Shops.” It was beautiful! My girlfriend and I each took about a gram and a half and wandered around the city at night. The Hague is really beautiful and quiet, not at all like Amsterdam, which is full of obnoxious drunk tourists.
My friend and I had a very deep conversation about our childhoods and tripping together definitely solidified our friendship. I remember colors seeming brighter, and they seemed to pulse—and music sounded incredible. We heard some jazz coming out of a little bistro and we both just stopped to listen. Suddenly I realized that we must have been standing there in the street for ages—we just got totally caught up in it. It felt like being a child again. That sense of wonder over anything: light, colors, music, taste.
Where it went from there: It’s hard to get good ‘shrooms in the States. I’ve ordered them online a few times, but the quality is never as good. Eventually I just stopped. I mean. there’s something super-sketchy about a mystery package arriving in your mailbox and you’re just trusting that whatever you ingest isn‘t going to poison you. I was really sad when I heard they stopped selling mushrooms in Holland [in 2009], because I planned to go back and do it again sometime.
7. Legal High
Dave, 39, a barman in Newcastle, England
My first time: I was a bit of a late bloomer with ‘shrooms. Back in 2003 I was staying with friends down in London and for some reason mushrooms became legal to sell in the UK for a split second–I think there was some kind of loophole where people figured they could sell them so long as they weren’t prepared in any way, like dried and that. You’d see these hippie blokes selling live mushrooms in little plant pots at Camden Market or Portobello. I hadn’t a clue about it until one of the tabloids did a big “shock horror!’ exposé on it. Thus alerted, a couple of mates and I decided to try it. The guy told us how to prepare them–either dry ‘em with a fan for 24 hours or make tea—and we were off.
We hit the town. It wasn’t a stellar experiment. My mate Bill insisted on drinking loads and soon after the ‘shrooms kicked in he was locked in the bogs of the Good Mixer [pub in Camden], puking his guts up. Meanwhile I came to and found myself deep in conversation with the landlady of my local [pub], with no idea of what the hell I’d been talking about! She seemed really interested. I got paranoid about what I’d been saying and jumped up, started mumbling excuses about needing some fresh air and got out of there, sharpish. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting, but really all I felt was majorly disorientated. I wound up necking a couple of Valium because I really wanted to just go to sleep and wake up straight again.
Where it went from there: They clamped down on the mushroom sellers not long after that, so the opportunity never presented itself again. That said, they could sell them at my corner shop and I probably wouldn’t be interested.
8. Better Late Than Never
Walter, 57, a journalist in New York City
My first time: I did mushrooms for the first time on the Fourth of July at party in the country. A large number of gay men, lesbians and the like hang out all day, eating, drinking, smoking, flirting, swimming in the pond, walking in the woods, and generally acting as if time stopped 20 years ago. A surprising number of people in their forties and fifties take ecstasy like in the old days. I do not do ecstasy because I take antidepressants that blunt the effect of X. But a friend had some mushrooms and asked me to do them with her. I took myself completely by surprise when I did—a small amount. I had not taken serious hallucinogens since 1979.
My high was mild but I felt great. Inside my skull it was warm, quiet, still—the usual anxiety and noise were gone. I felt detached from needs and desires. I watched people sitting close around a big fire or dancing chaotically and had the impression that I could decide whether or not to “feel” anything—sexual attraction or sentimental attachment or simply nothing at all. It was as if I had control over my attention and could choose any of a million ways to occupy it.
Where it went from there: I am grateful to have sampled that state of mind. I would like to live there forever, but at least a few sparks of magic remain.
9. Bugging Out
Tom, 38, a retail manager in London
My first time: I was seeing a girl who had a packet of mushrooms sitting in her freezer—I was getting ice for our cocktails when I came across this Ziploc baggie. She told me a friend had posted them from Amsterdam, where they were sold freely. So of course I said we should do them. But I wasn’t really a psychedelic adventurer, more of a coke-and-lager type of guy. The ‘shrooms started kicking in when we were in her back yard having drinks: I suddenly became aware that in every nook and corner, this place was teeming with insects. All kinds of crawling, creeping, multilegged things were squirming through the darkness and moist, secret places underneath me, above me—I could hear them! I turned pale and decided that we had to leave—“too many insects!”
Needless to say, I didn’t have a much better time of it once we’d spilled out onto the teeming streets of East London. The first person we met was the head waiter of a restaurant we knew, who happened to wear a wig that struck me as particularly lively that day. That was the last time my girlfriend did mushrooms with me.
Where it went from there: Well, I haven’t done ‘shrooms since. But the girl didn’t hold it against me. We’re married now, and she still finds the story rather amusing when she drags it out at dinner parties.
10. Heaven on Earth
Joe, 38, an author in Edinburgh, Scotland
My first time: I’d been told by a very reliable source—the celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey’s brother, Ronnie—that the finest magic mushrooms, known locally as Omji, were freely available on the exotic Indonesian island of Lombok. And fuck me: As soon as I set foot there it was obvious I was in magic mushroom Shangri-La. Wherever you went they were for sale: bottled magic mushrooms, pancake mushrooms, mushroom in your beer, mushroom coffee, fried mushrooms, mushroom omelets, raw mushrooms straight from the jungle interior. Man, I was in heaven. I stayed on Lombok for three weeks, munching on all different mushroom concoctions, climbing volcanoes, scuba diving, watching mushroom sunsets—in the end I felt like I was turning into a mushroom. It was great!
Where it went from there: There was no physical or mental payback for all this fungal excess—after all, the mushroom is natural and organic. If anyone takes magic mushrooms and suffers some sort of breakdown afterwards, it has nothing to do with God’s own plants.
Tony O’Neill is the author of books including Digging the Vein, Down and Out on Murder Mile and Sick City. He also co-authored the New York Times bestseller Hero of the Underground (with Jason Peter) and the Los Angeles Times bestseller Neon Angel (with Cherie Currie). He recently interviewed Soft Cell and solo artist Marc Almond for Substance.com.
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Worldwide there are millions of tonnes of mushrooms being cultivated every year. The biggest producer is China, who cultivates about 70% of the worldwide production. Poland is the biggest producer in Europe. The Netherlands is second biggest producer in Europe and cultivates around 250 million kilo mushrooms each year. All these gigantic quantities of mushrooms are being produced the ”usual way” with the aid of horse manure and plain old soil. However the big success of this method it is not the only way to cultivate mushrooms. This new method of cultivating uses different kinds of matrixes like sawdust, straw, various grains and even coffee-grounds (Feiten en cijfers, 2010). This brings us to our new method of cultivating mushrooms namely cultivating mushrooms with the use of grain. This could be any grain and any kind of mushrooms. However we chose to use Sorghum (a kind of grain) and oyster mushrooms. The reason why we chose these particular elements are given further on in this report.
This new method is not that unusual, small growers are already cultivating this new way but big growers still lack behind. However the change in the way of cultivating in our new method it does not require extra care nor special materials. The only thing you need is a little bit of knowledge which we like to provide along with are product in Rwanda.
Sorghum or Red Durum is a grain specie how originates from Africa. Nowadays it is mainly being cultivated in tropical or subtropical countries (Sorghum, 2002). Sorghum is a low-cost grain, which makes it widely known in continents like Asia and Africa. In those countries it is mainly used as a food source for man and animal (Giannakopoulos, 2011).
But why do we choose to use Sorghum as our matrix?
Sorghum consists for 69% of starch and the remaining 31% is made up of Protein, Potassium, Phosphorus, Calcium and iron. Because of this wealth in nutrients it is a suited matrix for growing mushrooms. Besides that there has been a research on growing rates of mushroom mycelium (the mushrooms roots) with the use of different matrixes. This research shows us that the use of Sorghum as a matrix speeds up the mycelium growth. According to the researchers this could be due to the fact that sorghum has a bigger surface area than most of the other matrixes that were used.
With all this in the back of our minds it makes for us a wise choice to you sorghum as our matrix.
The oyster mushroom is a really versatile mushroom and has some amazing ability’s which most people do not know, for example
‘ Fast growing of mycelium and mushroom fruits (Pleurotus ostreatus: The Oyster Mushroom, 2006)
‘ High resistance against micro organisms (Pleurotes Ostreatus, 2005)
‘ Large volume of the mushrooms fruits (Oyster mushrooms, 2008)
‘ Easy to conserve (Marieke van Dijk, 2007)
‘ Optimum growing temperature of about 28 degrees Celsius
‘ (which corresponds with the temperature of our target country Rwanda)
(Pleurotes Ostreatus, 2005)
the main reason we chose the oyster mushroom is because of its pleasant taste, tenderness and high protein levels. With this high protein levels we want to protect the people of Rwanda against malnutrion.
The whole process consists of 2 major parts, namely 1. the preparing of the breeding-bags and 2. The care taking and harvesting of the mushrooms. The first part is in the start-up phase, being done by us and imagine to introduce them to the procedure of cultivating mushrooms. Later on it is our target to make them independent so they can produce their own breeding-bags which can create small companies and employments.
Preparing the Breeding-bags
Firstly the sorghum (our matrix) needs to be sterilised. This is done by cooking it for a hour in an oil drum. After cooking drain out the excess water till the sorghum is still moist but not wet (Zelf paddestoelen kweken, 2000).
When the sorghum is moist enough take a plastic bag and open it. Put on some plastic gloves to prevent an contamination with other fungi or bacteria. Fill the bag with a small layer of sorghum. After that take a hand full of oyster-mushroom spores and place it on top of the sorghum. Keep repeating these two steps until the plastic bag is filled for about 2/3. After the breeding-bag is filled close it off with a shutter, and store it in a dark room.
Taking care and harvesting the mushrooms
Poke very small holes in the breeding-bag so the mushroom spores can breathe and grow and then place the Breeding-bag in a dark and moist environment (Basis kweken , 2004). After 10 towards 20 days the mushroom mycelium has grown completely in the Sorghum, Which is recognisable by a white fluffy layer on the Sorghum. When the mycelium is healthy and big enough, you need to take out a sterile Knife and cut small X’s on the breeding-bag, and place it in an environment with indirect sunlight. This will be a sign for the mycelium to start producing fruits (Thuiskweekpakketen, n.d.). Keep track of the bags daily if the mushrooms are big enough to be harvested (usually after 8 days). After about 3 flushes the matrix will become useless. The breeding-bags can then be cut open and the remaining Sorghum along with the mushroom mycelium can be used as silage, because it is still very nutritious. After this the whole process can be repeated by getting a new breeding-bag.
Does it work
Unfortunately our own test breeding-bag failed. After 12 days our bag got contaminated with another fungi which was stronger and killed the oyster mushroom mycelium. This fungi was probably a Aspergillus which is a very common fungi in our region (Aspergillus, 2005). However we did not get any mushrooms we still have showed that oyster mushroom mycelium can grow with the use of Sorghum.
There are a number of reports and examples which tell us that it is possible to:
A. grow mushrooms on Sorghum.
For example the lab report of microbiologist Giorgos Giannakopoulos for instance. In his report he describes how he cultivated the mushroom specie Schizophyllium Commune on Sorghum for a research on Therapeutic proteins. In his report he also mentions an undertaking in Uganda which cultivates oyster mushrooms and at that undertaking they prefer to use Sorghum as a matrix rather than sawdust or straw (Giannakopoulos, 2011). Sadly the conclusion for this choice is not given.
B: to grow mushrooms with the use of a so called breeding bag.
A good example for this point is the small business called ”Back to the roots”, run by young students Nikhil Arora and Alejandro Velez. Their business is all about recycling and growing your own food. They use used coffee grounds from local coffee shops to use as a matrix for their mushrooms. With those coffee grounds they produce small mushroom Breeding-bags for at home use (Our story, n.d.).
From this two sources we can conclude that it is possible to cultivate oyster mushrooms with the use of Sorghum.
Our test Breeding-bag after 8 days.
Rich and healthy mycelium trough-out the whole bag
Our test Breeding-bag after 12 days.
The contamination can be seen in the red circle.
Before a product can be used as effective as possible, one must have ample of knowledge of what purpose it has. In this case it is to foster the economy and wellness of a country and his people by collaboration. This can be achieved by for example creating a whole new food source. Could it be possible? According to us, we think that with the required passion nearly everything can be solved.
As a command, we were chosen to create mushrooms as a food source. It is therefore of great importance that the concerning country has an acceptable climate. That way, the growth of the mushrooms are at maximum and likewise the people have the most profit they can get. The political stability is significant as well.
In Africa, many countries cope with corruption, poverty and malnutrition on vast scale. Of course we cannot solve all of these problems. However we realized that a healthy population is the biggest priority for Africa and its people. mainly because a healthy population makes it possible to keep helping Africa and spawning aid on the weak points of the community.
As a matter of fact, our concept surrounds a whole community and does not only create new nutrition resources, but also fosters the solidarity between the many separate groups in country. It also prevents that the population reduces the mountaingorrilla’s habitat which inhabit the vast landscapes of Rwanda. Giving the people a new way to get food keeps them away from cutting precious trees around the mountains.
By taking all these requirements and factors, we have come to the conclusion that we will focus our product on Rwanda. The climate of Rwanda perfectly fits to the needs of the mushroom. The temperature always is around 26 degrees and the precipitation is much higher because of the average height which lies much higher than the surrounding countries.
Rwanda has been a country of war between big tribal’s for a short period of time. However, friction between the Hutu’s and the Tutsi’s still exists and escalations are still a nightmare for the people in Rwanda. In 1994 an immense genocide has occurred. Many Tutsi’s were killed by Hutu’s alongside the Twa, the aborigines of Rwanda. The amount of prevailingly Tutsi’s whom are killed is estimated between a half million and one million victims. (BBC, 2011), (Harsch, 1998) This occurrence really emasculated the social interrelation among the community. The commercial state of Rwanda lacks behind as well because of this situation. Therefore 60,3% of the population lives below poverty line. (UNDP, 2007)
We think that with this product solidarity in Rwanda will be on the increase. Nowadays the prime minister is a Tutsi which is great because The Tutsi’s have been extremely oppressed.
First of all, we would verylike to thank imagine for giving us the opportunity to be part of such a big group of students. Although we did not have much conversations with the rest of the groups, we had the feeling that together we stood as a team to make the world a tiny bit better. it gave us a great feeling. We also would like to thank mister professor Lugones for supporting us and giving us the right information and introduction at the beginning, for we have learned a lot from. it was very pleasing that he was accessible in communication and discussion. Beforehand we had a whole different view of how mister professor lugones would be. therefore we were suprised and delighted about our first meeting. On top of that we are glad that miss Sing Chi kept contact with us to check our progress. It was very helpful. We recomment to keep this whole project running. Students learn a lot about the world of science and everything that comes with it.
Aspergillus. (2005, February 20). Retrieved from www.wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspergillus
Basis kweken . (2004, January 1). Retrieved from www.mushplanet.nl: http://mushplanet.nl/
BBC. (2011, Mei 17). Rwanda: How the genocide happened. BBC, p. 2.
Feiten en cijfers. (2010, january 12). Retrieved from www.champignonidee.nl: http://www.champignonidee.nl/about-mushrooms/feiten-en-cijfers/index.cfm?articles_id=ECE68BA3-6D06-4C1A-96D9-1042E8949D06
Giannakopoulos, G. (2011). Ameliorating the mushroom forming basidiomycete schizophyllum commune for the production of therapeutic proteins. Utrecht: Universiteit Utrecht.
Harsch, E. (1998, augustus 1). OAU sets inquiry into Rwanda genocide. Africa Renewal, p. 3.
Marieke van Dijk, N. H. (2007). Enidado. Veendam: Foundation Imagine.
Our story. (n.d.). Retrieved from www.backtotheroots.com: https://www.backtotheroots.com/about-us
Oyster mushrooms. (2008, July 9). Retrieved from www.fungifun.org: http://www.fungifun.org/mushworld/Oyster-Mushroom-Cultivation/
Pleurotes Ostreatus. (2005, February 6). Retrieved from www.wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pleurotus_ostreatus
Pleurotus ostreatus: The Oyster Mushroom. (2006, December 3). Retrieved from www.mushroomexpert.com: http://www.mushroomexpert.com/pleurotus_ostreatus.html
Sorghum. (2002, June 11). Retrieved from www.wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sorghum
Thuiskweekpakketen. (n.d.). Retrieved from www.minichamp.nl: http://www.minichamp.nl/content/4-over-ons
UNDP. (2007). Human and income poverty. Rwanda: UNDP.
Zelf paddestoelen kweken. (2000, April 13). Retrieved from www.neerlandstuin.nl: http://www.neerlandstuin.nl/planten/padde.html
Appendix A: How?
Our most important partners are:
‘ Charitable foundations
‘ Transport companies
What is the interest of these partners by helping us reach the value proposition?
A new project to help raise the living circumstances of the people of Rwanda
A new source of income and contact with the charitable foundations.
Our consumers (people of Rwanda) are getting knowledge, skills and tools. When these things are well-used, it helps Rwanda getting an economic stimulation.
These companies benefit from helping us these same as the manufacturers do, they get a new source of income and new contacts.
What key resources gets the company with the cooperation of these partners?
Finances, employees and connections/relations with partner companies.
Materials and our final product
Customers and the power to give our knowledge and tools to use our product to other people (spread of knowledge).
Vehicles to transport our product to Rwanda.
Of which core activities do these partners take care?
The only core activity our key partners take care of is the import of our product. The import is done by the transport companies. We take care of delivering knowledge, networking and socializing ourselves. We want to take this in our own hands because we can still have a sort of supervision over our product this way.
To realize our value proposition, we have to import, deliver knowledge, network and socialize. These activities are part of the networking category.
What key resources do we need to realize our value proposition?
with partner companies.
– Spread of knowledge
Because we partly outsource our product to a charitable foundation we have two customers, the charitable foundation and the people of Rwanda.
The charitable foundations lack the knowledge, materials and resources to deliver a solution for the problem in Rwanda
The product that the charitable foundation delivers is a breeding bag and indirect an economic stimulation for the people in Rwanda.
There are a few problems in Rwanda, a few of them are malnutrition, poverty and a lack of knowledge and chances to build an lucrative economy.
We give the people of Rwanda the knowledge to use and even develop our product. That way they can make it their own and stand on their own feet.’
These are the costs of the resources we need to manufacture our final product. These costs are without shipping costs and can be different when bought in bigger numbers. The costs to make one breeding bag can be shown like this:
Startup costs Refill
Oil barrel (Jerrycanshop) ‘63,95
Sorghum (‘0,80/kg (Tijssen)) ‘2,80
Knive (ToolMax) ‘2,18
Mushroom spores (‘1,98/L (Mini Champ)) ‘1,98
Sterilizing alcohol (Mistyva) ‘2,95
Breeding bag (Topa verpakking) ‘0,01
Bag closer (Topa verpakking) ‘0,02
Gloves (Vinyl-handschoenenspecialist) ‘0,10
Total startup cost: ‘69,08 Total cost refill (each 2 weeks): ‘4,91
Employees and vehicles
Because we outsource our project to the charitable foundation Rwanda aid, we do not need very much employees. We go to Rwanda for two weeks (can be longer but prices are for two weeks) to transfer our knowledge to the people there. The things we need to go and stay in Rwanda are:
– Ticket from Schiphol to Kigali airport, approximately ‘599.00 per person. (Skyscanner)
– Rental car to drive to the south of Rwanda where the rest of Rwanda aid operates, approximately ‘800.00 for two weeks. (Europcar)
There is a company that can transport a full container load oversee, that company is BMS forwarding. They travel directly to the capital of Rwanda, Kigali, (Transport Guide Rotterdam) where we can hire some trucks to bring the products to their destinations.
Costs for the people
The costs for the consumers can be that other Rwandese people can get jealous, but this will not become a problem because the project can be brought to everyone.
Costs for the planet
The planet will get costs in source of CO2 emission and bringing another species in Rwanda, which can bring harm to the Eco culture in Rwanda.
Our project will concentrate on having a personal connection with the charitable foundation. This for a short time, because we need to give the charitable foundation the knowledge on how to handle with our product. After this time the foundation will be able to handle with the product and we will try to, step by step, outsource our project and our relations. This so the project will become part of the foundation’s company.
The charitable foundation will need to have a long term personal relationship with their customers, the people in Rwanda, so they gain the knowledge on using our project and being able to set up their own business. The customers will be helped by the foundation during the set up time and after some time the people in Rwanda will be able to use and sell their project themselves.
Our company concentrates on charitable foundations, after searching on the internet we found foundation Rwanda Aid (foundation Rwanda Aid) concentrates on farming and giving education on how to handle a business. So our project will help the foundation Rwanda Aid completing this project of their foundation.
To obtain our customer segment, we will need to communicate with the foundation. We will need to set up a distribution center for obtaining and transporting our product; therefore we need a transport company and several workers in the distribution center.
The average price for oyster mushrooms in Rwanda is ‘1,91 for one kilogram (Buy from Rwanda). Our project will bring around four kilograms to the consumers of the foundation. So this will bring them an income of ‘7,64 from our project each two weeks, because this is the average time it takes to harvest your mushrooms. The startup costs are ‘69,08 this will be a loan for 2 years (24 months). So this profit considering the costs can be shown like this:
Startup loan 1 year ‘34,54 1 Harvest (2 weeks) ‘7,64
Refill (each 2 weeks) ‘4,91 1 year profit ‘198,64
Total refill 1 year ‘127,66 Total costs -‘162,20
Total costs (1 year) ‘162,20
Total profit (1 year) ‘36,44
Refill (each 2 weeks) ‘4,91 1 Harvest (2 weeks) ‘7,64
Total refill 1 year ‘127,66 1 year profit ‘198,64
Total costs -‘127,66
Total costs (1 year) ‘127,66 Total profit (1 year) ‘70,98
Profit for the people
1 Harvest (2 weeks) ‘6,69
1 year profit ‘173,81
Total costs -‘162,20
Total profit (1 year) ‘11,61
The consumers, the people in Rwanda, will make a average profit of ‘36,44 a year the first 2 years. After these 2 years the loan for the startup costs are paid of. This will make their profit ‘70,98. This will be each year their profit for growing mushrooms. If the consumers will eat a part of their own harvest, 0,5 kilogram then this will make a difference. The profit, if they will keep a part of the harvest for them self,
can be shown like this:
But in this model the loan is still in the costs. This means that after 2 years the consumers profit will be ‘46,15. So our product will give the consumers the possibility to earn money as well as giving them a new food source. Our project will give them as well as a new income and a new food source but also an education.
Profit for the world
Our project will help the world, because the consumers will find a new source of food. So they can produce their own food. Clean and fresh, so the consumers will know and tell others about their new source of food. They will do the same and together we can start a new way of growing food and helping each other, passing on education and make a change in the worlds understanding on food.