Back to the Roots Mushroom Growing Kit

by Chrystal Johnson on April 6, 2012

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When I first heard about Back to the Roots, I was instantly hooked on the idea. I had no clue how to grow mushrooms on my own, so I was thrilled about the opportunity to receive a kit that would take all of the guesswork out of growing mushrooms.

Basically, you just open the box, slice the plastic and mist the insides (you need to mist twice a day) and in about 10 days you get to harvest up to 1.5 pounds of oyster mushrooms.

You will get at least 2 crops from a Back to the Roots kit, but some people have gotten up to 4 crops. I like that you can even let the box sit on the shelf for months before opening it, and it’ll still keep.

Here are the mushrooms we got to grow!

These kits are a great learning experience for kids. So many kids (and adults) are disconnected from where their food actually comes from. It’s wonderful for them to see how food is grown, and to get to do it in your own home is the best experience.

The best part is that the soil is 100% recycled coffee grounds, which is totally safe and sustainable! In 2011, Back to the Roots was able to collect, divert and reuse 1 million pounds of coffee grounds from Peet’s Coffee & Tea! And families got to grow 250,000 pounds of fresh food at home with these kits.

I also really appreciated the story of how the founders, Alejandro Velez and Nikhil Arora, came up with the idea to start Back to the Roots. When they were just two months away from graduating from UC Berkley, they were sitting in a lecture class and were introduced to the idea of potentially growing mushrooms totally on recycled coffee grounds.

They both felt inspired by the idea of turning waste into income and fresh food, so they started experimenting in Alex’s fraternity house kitchen, where they grew one test bucket of oyster mushrooms in recycled coffee grounds. That single bucket generated interest from Whole Foods and got them a $5,000 grant from the UC Berkeley Chancellor for social innovation. And from that Back to the Roots had its beginnings!

I just think this is the neatest idea and product! Be sure to check out Back to the Roots and connect with them on Facebook and Twitter.



About Chrystal Johnson

Chrystal, publisher of Happy Mothering, is a mother of two sweet girls who believes in living a simple, natural lifestyle. A former marketing manager, Chrystal spends her time researching green and eco-friendly alternatives to improve her family's life. She enjoys sharing those discoveries with anyone who's willing to listen.

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kelley
Twitter: kelleynutrition
April 6, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Wow, thank you Happy Mothering for letting me know about this. I think my kids would really enjoy growing the mushrooms. I am assuming these are edible, and have you tried them yet?


2 Kelley
Twitter: kelleynutrition
April 12, 2012 at 8:41 am

I have been looking more into this company and love their story and really want to try these mushrooms!!!!! Thank you for sharing this we us!


3 Mary Bearden April 6, 2012 at 6:07 pm

I did not even know there were such kits! Glad to know. Maybe I can start some and at least my little yorkie will be eating the right kind! For some darn reason he is finding all the ugly and smelly ones in the yard and loves to rub himself all over the place in that disgusting stuff! I try to find them before he does but we have a huge yard. Why do they do that? God, he stinks when he comes in and we have to give him a bath every time. Crazy little dog. I wonder if he hallucinates?


4 Brittney Minor
Twitter: brittleby
April 10, 2012 at 3:36 pm

This is really cool! I have seen these before but was hesitant to get them! They sound really neat and I would love to try them out now!


5 Melanie Schemanski April 12, 2012 at 6:40 am

I love mushrooms, what a fun way to grow them. This would be a great homeschool project
Melanie Schemanski recently posted..Honor the Earth Giveaway Hop April 12-22


6 elven johnson April 12, 2012 at 10:46 am

I just think this is so cool!! Plus mushrooms in the store here are very pricey.


7 Mechele Johnson April 12, 2012 at 2:45 pm

My husband loves mushrooms! I would love to grow these for him so we can pick them fresh for dinner!


8 polly April 12, 2012 at 7:12 pm

i use mushrooms in a lot of my recipies. love them!


9 beverly h April 12, 2012 at 9:44 pm

This looks like a fascinating project to share with my grandchild! I love to eat mushrooms, but never grew any (other than wild one…).


10 Sarah Morgan April 13, 2012 at 3:16 pm

I love the taste of mushrooms. Id love to try them they look unique!
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11 Vicky C. April 14, 2012 at 9:01 am

I love mushrooms and I love the idea of growing them. :)


12 Lane Mahnke April 15, 2012 at 10:01 am

I would like to grow my own mushrooms because they are my favorite food. I put them in everything!


13 Heather Bridson April 16, 2012 at 7:24 pm

Fresh is best!!!


14 virgomomwriter April 16, 2012 at 10:33 pm

We love mushrooms, and put them in everything. I would be so cool to grow our own!


15 Elena V April 17, 2012 at 6:21 am

I’d love to grow my own because in my area mushrooms are friggin expensive!


16 Raj April 17, 2012 at 8:47 pm

Very interesting…my kids would be intrigued.


17 Kathlyne April 18, 2012 at 5:14 pm

This would be so fun. Whenever I go hiking I want to pick mushrooms, but my husband hates the idea. With this I could grow my own and know they are safe to eat.


18 Jackie R. April 22, 2012 at 8:23 am

As a bio nerd, I love the idea of growing my own mushrooms. I want to see what happens over time, what they look like when they grow. This is one of the coolest things I have seen in awhile! I pinned it to my Pinterest account.
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19 JR Pickett (Vicki Vix on r/c form) April 22, 2012 at 12:56 pm

I’m not into mushrooms personally but this would make a great gift for my sister. She loves ‘shrooms and likes growing her own veg.


20 librarypat April 22, 2012 at 5:28 pm

We love mushrooms at our house. What a wonderful way to have good, fresh ones. I am tired of buying those at the store and having them turn slimmy before we use them.


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