Back to the Roots Mushroom Kit

I swore up and down that I didn’t like mushrooms until last month when I took a deep breath and defended my honor as a food blogger and self-proclaimed reformed picky eater and ate some.  If I hadn’t had that experience and found out that I do indeed like mushrooms, I might not have said yes when Back To The Roots e-mailed to see if I’d be interested in trying out their grow-your-own mushroom garden kit.  The idea was so intriguing.  Growing your own pearl oyster mushrooms using recycled coffee grounds?  Tell me more.

Pearl Oyster Mushrooms at Day 5.

Now, you might remember that there is nothing I love more in this life than my family.  And next in line is my garden and fresh produce that I pick myself.  And then we have the combination of the two.

Growing my own mushrooms at home never entered into my mind.  The brilliant minds of UC Berkeley grads Nikhil Arora and Alejandro Velez got together and decided to bring their idea of growing mushrooms on recycled coffee grounds to the home grower.  (Their story is great.)  Thus, the birth of Back To the Roots and the ability to grow mushrooms indoors at home.  You don’t even need to have your own garden, you grow these on the windowsill.  Great, right?!

And let me tell you, if your kids are already bored this summer, they will have a blast watching the mushrooms grow by the minute.  My oldest has bolted out of bed for the past few days to see how much they grew overnight.  That’s cool science.

So.  This box comes to you in the mail.

You open it up and this is what’s inside–a plastic bag with coffee grounds surrounded by the white mushroom root, some detailed instructions that tell you what to do next, and a cute little spray bottle.  (Why didn’t I take a picture of the cute little spray bottle?  It’s tiny and blue and darling.)

You cut a + in the plastic…

…and soak it in water overnight.  It needs the extra moisture.  Here in Utah, where summer is bone dry, I wanted to make sure I did not skip this step.  Already at this point, the smell was so deliciously earthy.

The picture below was taken this morning.  Yesterday morning there were barely any mushrooms at all.  Just the littlest, tiniest buds.  Those mushrooms grew in 24 hours and they quadrupled in size.  As I’m typing this, they are even bigger.  It is seriously the coolest thing to watch.

Another fun thing to watch is Nikhil and Alejandro show you exactly what to do and what your kit will look like from the first day and at intervals until the mushrooms are fully grown.


I’m dreaming of what I’m going to make with all these mushrooms.  Quite possibly I’ll use some for a risotto, an omelet for the hubby, and maybe a cream of mushroom soup.  The possibilities…pizza, pasta, mushroom pate.  What would you make?

Each kit yields at least 1 lb. of pearl oyster mushrooms.  Some kits will yield as much as 4.  When one side is done growing, you flip the box around and do the same with the other side of the bag.   You can also buy replacement bags for $7.99.  I love this whole idea.  Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.

Hopefully you are all excited about growing mushrooms at home.  You can buy the kits online and in some Whole Foods stores.  But….lucky you!  Back to the Roots wants to give one of you a mushroom kit.

To enter:
1.  Leave a comment.  Please include an e-mail address if you don’t have a blog profile.
2. Leave a separate comment for each of these to receive and extra entry:
a. “Like” Back To The Roots on Facebook
b. Follow Back To The Roots on Twitter @BTTRVentures
c. Follow me on Twitter @cafe_johnsonia.
d. Subscribe to my blog’s feed by e-mail or through your reader of choice.  (See the sidebar.)

That’s up to 5 entries per person.

I will announce the winner on Wednesday, June 30th in a separate post. If you don’t claim your prize by e-mailing me in 48 hours, I’ll choose a new winner.

Ready, set, GO!

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  1. Hey! This is Nikhil, one of the co-founders of Back to the Roots. Thanks for the post! We’re excited to be able to send someone a mushroom kit to start growing their own gourmet mushrooms soon!

  2. Hi, I have one of these kits now, and I’ve been soaking and faithfully watering for about a week now… but nothing is growing. When I bought the kit, there were a couple of mushrooms growing out of the top of the bag, and I cut them off, but since then, nothing. Any ideas? I’d love to see some mushrooms like yours! (And not feel like I’d totally blown my $20…) Thanks, Madeline

  3. Maddy–Definitely contact the company for a replacement. I’m sure they’ll do that for you. They are such nice guys. I had a second bag that didn’t grow as many and took a little longer to grow. I’m guessing temperature and other factors might be the cause. But do contact them.

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