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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Review: Back to Roots Mushroom Garden

About: Back to Roots

From Bankers to Mushroom Farmers

Back to the Roots was founded by Alejandro Velez & Nikhil Arora during their last semester at UC Berkeley in 2009. Two months away from graduation, and heading into the corporate world of investment banking & consulting, they came across the idea during a class lecture of being able to potentially grow gourmet mushrooms entirely on recycled coffee grounds. Inspired by the idea of turning waste into wages & fresh, local food, they experimented in Alex's fraternity kitchen, ultimately growing one test bucket of tasty oyster mushrooms on recycled coffee grounds. With that one bucket, some initial interest from Whole Foods & Chez Panisse and a $5,000 grant from the UC Berkeley Chancellor for social innovation, they decided to forget the corporate route, and instead, become full-time urban mushroom farmers!
Inspired by the idea of producing local, fresh food from what was an urban waste stream, Back to the Roots has since grown to create the Grow-Your-Own Mushroom Garden which lets anyone, across the country, grow their own gourmet mushrooms at home as well!

Our Efforts Today
On pace in 2011 to collect, divert and reuse 1 million lbs of coffee grounds this year from Peet's Coffee & TeaHelp families grow over 250,000lbs of fresh food at home in 2011!Sustained 10 urban school & community gardens by donating BTTRs premium soil amendmentSelling our kits at over 300 Whole Foods nationwideVision
To create a movement, to constantly inspire, innovate, and responsibiltate*

To create unique, enjoyable, and sustainable products for our customers

Hustle. Passion. Family. Universal Happiness

•Grow up to 1 1/2 lbs of tasty pearl oyster mushrooms
•Multiple crops (at least 2, though some have got up to 4!)
•Grow your first crop in as little as 10 days!
•Just 3 Easy Steps - Open, Mist, and Harvest (spray mister included).
•All indoors - just set on a kitchen window sill and mist twice a day (mister included)
•The soil inside is 100% recycled coffee grounds - safe & sustainable
•100% Satisfaction Guaranteed

Grow-at-home mushroom kit lets you grow up to 1 1/2 lbs of gourmet, tasty oyster mushrooms in as little as 10 days...right from the box!
Mushroom Garden will last in the box before opening - No Shelf-Life, Can Grow All Year Round

OUR NEW PROGRAM: Post a picture with your kit fully grown on our facebook page and we'll send you a free replacement bag or donate a kit to an elementary classroom of your choice to support youth sustainability education! Join the Movement!

Is this not the COOLEST thing!?! It is a GREAT idea!! What a way to recycle and be productive!  Hopefully more people will become as creative as the two gentlemen that brainstormed this idea. I was going to do this project with my son, but then I thought that this would be a great idea for my son's science class. What perfect timing as they are starting to talk about resources and recycling! Plus it produces mushroom you can eat!! Also check out back to roots on twitter!

 I received free samples to properly conduct this review & the opinions of this product are solely mine. Opinions may vary to my own. I did not receive any monetary value to conduct this review.


Amber said...

These are totally awesome. I bought one at VeggieFest in Lisle this summer and I love it!! It's so much fun to grow these mushrooms and way cheaper than buying them at the farmer's market. Plus, these will even survive the winter!

Tamara B. said...

Wow what a great couple of guys and such a fantastic idea. They are such a great example and I have learned alot from your great review!

JMyers666 said...

Brilliant idea! I'm thinking great holiday gifts, too. And perfect for us vegetarians.

Janet W. said...

Wow, this is so unique! I've never heard of something like this before, but then again, I don't really grow my own stuff. Too neat!