It all began with then UC Berkeley students Nikhil Arora and Alejandro Velez found that they could grow gourmet mushrooms off of coffee grounds.
After studying videos on YouTube and reading many articles, the duo started doing tests in Alejandro’s frat kitchen.
While Arora and Velez were preparing for their careers, the duo would receive a $5,000 grant from the university’s chancellor before graduating.
Several years later, the duo would make $4.6 million in revenue with their company Back to the Roots in 2014 and the duo would offer more products other than their popular mushroom farm.
So, popular that the company would raise $250,000 on Kickstarter for an aquaponics kit and their “ready to grow” products are now in thousands of stores including Target, Whole Foods, Costco, Home Depot all over the country.
And the money it raises goes back to its product lines, scale retail distribution and also the company is introducing their products to school curricula.
So, suffice to say, Back to the Roots are doing a phenomenal job and their products are fantastic!
Having seen the success of their organic mushroom farm, I had to give it a try!
It’s important to note that while I classify this as a vegetable in my blog category, a mushroom is technically not a fruit, vegetable or plant. It’s a fungus. With that being said, the U.S. Department of Agriculture classifies mushrooms as vegetables because they provide many of the nutritional attributes of vegetables. But there are no seeds, no leaves, no roots and a mushroom doesn’t require any light to grow.
It’s really easy to start a Back to the Roots Organic Mushroom Mini Farm.
Open the front panel of the box and Cut an X on top of the plastic of what looks like a white brick inside. Then take out the brick and submerge it in water for six hours.
Then put the brick back in the box and then put it on your window sill and add water (I spritzed it a few times with a water bottle).
By day four. Little oyster mushrooms started to appear. By day six, the mushrooms grew more than an inch.
By day eleven, the mushrooms were big and the top edges were straightening out (no longer facing downward) which means its perfect for snipping and cooking.
The only thing one should be careful is to not let the mushrooms unfurl upwards. So, by day ten or eleven, these mushrooms are time to snip and then you can continue to keep watering and let more mushrooms grow.
I’m not really sure how long this will hold up but the fact that this works and it’s so easy to do is fantastic!
Now, if Back to the Roots can figure out to do an organic shitake mushroom farm, that would be awesome!
Overall, the Back to the Roots Organic Mushroom Mini Farm is recommended and worth the purchase!
And definitely try their other products (I am currently growing their Cilantro in a can).