Start a Sustainable Mushroom Garden in your Home

back to the roots 2

Lately I have been toying with the idea of starting my own little vegetable garden to have fresh produce at my fingertips and save on my monthly grocery bill.  I picture myself happily harvesting my bountiful ripe red tomatoes and lush peppers as butterflies flutter by.  There is only one thing wrong with this sweet scenario.  Unlike my sister and many others, I do not have a green thumb.  I have managed to kill almost every plant I have ever laid hands on except for the one my husband bought me when we were first married.  And I read that peace lilies are pretty much indestructible.

I almost gave up before I started until I came across this incredible system of sustainably growing oyster mushrooms right in your windowsill.  From the company Back to the Roots comes a fully self-contained kit that includes used coffee grounds (collected from Peet’s Coffee and Tea), mushroom spores and a mister for watering.   They have a 100% Guarantee and claim mushrooms can be grown in as little as a week and a half.  The greatest part is that they can be grown year round right in your home.  And they have an abundance of delicious recipes on their blog for you to create once your mushrooms are ripe for the plucking.

How it works


Co-founder Nikhil Arora with President Obama

Back to the Roots is a company with more than just an incredible product.  They have started a movement that has earned them a meeting with President Obama, a trip to the Today Show, countless news coverage clips, nomination to Forbes 30 under 30 and a TED talk on their sustainable farming methods.  The founders, Alejandro Velez and Nikhil Arora, are two students fresh out of UC Berkeley that grew their first batch in the halls of their fraternity house.  Since their start in 2009, they have grown their B Corp to employ people around the country and stock their kits in Whole Foods nationwide.  And they have a commitment to community and schools that spans from reducing landfill waste (a goal of reusing 3.6 billion lbs of used coffee grinds in 2012) to teaching “hands-on” sustainability lessons in schools to the creation of community gardens and local jobs in city centers across the country.  One such example is if you post pictures of your fully grown mushroom kit to their Facebook page, they will donate a kit and a sustainability curriculum to an elementary class of your choice.  Now there’s a lesson I would like my kids to learn!

Home Aquaponics Garden

Currently Back to the Roots is fundraising to launch their newest product, a home Aquaponics Garden that is basically a fish tank that grows plants right in your kitchen.  You can grown up to 5 different plants of your choice from flowers to mint to basil to baby greens and have up to three fish decorating your countertop.  It works through a closed-loop ecosystem where the waste from the fish naturally fertilizes the plants and the plants clean the water for the fish.  No cleaning required from you.  Find out more about this incredible system and how you can help it come to market.

I can’t wait to start my own little mushroom farm and cook decadent dinners for my hubby with my newest little creations!


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