Saturday, November 12, 2011

Giveaway: Back to the Roots Mushroom Garden $20 ARV {11.30; US} CLOSED

This is a joint giveaway with Hobo Mama and Natural Parents Network. You may enter at one site only. Please find the section marked "Win it!" for the mandatory main entry and optional bonus entries.

Back to the Roots is offering our readers a giveaway of a Mushroom Farm, a value of $19.95.

This fun, sustainable, and educational grow-at-home mushroom kit lets you grow up to 1 1/2 pounds of gourmet, tasty oyster mushrooms in only 10 days…right from the box! The soil inside is 100% recycled coffee grounds, and the daily care is a simple misting.


From our reviewer, Sam for Hobo Mama:

I love mushrooms. Mushrooms as the centerpiece of a dish, mushrooms as an earthy base to a dish, mushrooms as a garnish: stuffed, sautéed, stir fried, raw, I love them all.

But I had never grown my own mushrooms before. It had never, frankly, occurred to me. But when we got the Back to the Roots mushroom kit, I was eager to dive in. The soil in the kit is made from recycled coffee grounds, and nearly the whole packaging is compostable afterward, so the kit is giving a second and third life to our raw materials, and the mushrooms are a freebie bonus in that process.

Our four-year-old son, Mikko, got to help in the process, although it's so simple I actually wished there was more there to hold his interest.

All you need to do is use a knife to cut a cross in the plastic, soak the bag in water overnight, and put the bag in its cardboard container in some sunlight. It was a two-minute project (or would have been if Mikko hadn't spilled quite of bit of the brownish water on the floor when getting out the bag).

From there on out, it was a simple matter of misting the bag with water twice a day, using the enclosed spray bottle, and letting the 'shrooms sprout. I was stunned by how quick the process was.

Here's the kit on day three (nothing to see yet):

Then on day six:

Day seven (seriously!):

Day nine:

On day eleven, it seemed like the exponential growth had stopped and the mushrooms looked about the size on the picture included with the instructions, so it was harvest time. (The instructions say to harvest on the tenth day, but I was greedily waiting to see if they'd get even bigger.)

Mikko did the honors. (Again, it was about two more minutes as a project.)

It yielded a solid plateful of mushrooms.

I sautéed the mushrooms and added them to a garbanzo-bean/couscous dish I'd made flavored with onion, ground pork, and a mushroom powder I mail-order. (The oyster mushrooms don't shrink as much as button or crimini; that's simply half of the batch as Lauren and I shared.)

Lauren's the green thumb in our family and I haven't even really found the work to be worth the reward in growing things myself, but this project couldn't have been simpler. Mikko seemed to enjoy watching the mushrooms get bigger each day although he couldn't bring himself to taste one.

The only hiccup I experienced was that you're supposed to be able to grow a second batch by cutting a cross on the other side of the bag, but I didn't get any growth the second time. I was unclear whether or not I needed to soak the bag again, and I did, so perhaps that was a mistake. (Actually, in visiting their website to remind myself of the instructions, I don't see anything there about soaking the bag at all, so maybe that's something they've worked to eliminate as part of the process.)

The mushroom kit is definitely something I'd do again once Mikko is a bit older and can anticipate eating them when they're finished. The more enjoyment you get out of the process, the better value it is, of course.

Replacement bags are half the price of the entire kit if you want to keep going, and the bags keep up to six months before opening, so you could likely get your cost down (especially if you get that second or third crop per bag) to where fresh mushrooms are a kitchen staple.


Back to the Roots

The founders of Back to the Roots were inspired by the idea of producing local, fresh food from what was an urban waste stream. The company is on pace in 2011 to collect, divert, and reuse 1 million pounds of coffee grounds this year from Peet's Coffee & Tea, and to help families grow over 250,000 pounds of fresh food at home. They've also sustained 10 urban school & community gardens by donating the premium soil amendment of spent coffee grounds and mushroom compost.


You can purchase the Mushroom Farm online at The kit costs $19.95. If you order 2 kits, you get free shipping.

Because the kits last six months or more in storage, a Mushroom Farm would make a perfect holiday gift!

Replacement bags are $9.99. A Monthly Mushroom Club subscription will net you 20% off over five months of mushroom kits shipped to your door.

You can also find the Mushroom Farm at Whole Foods stores.

If you post a picture of your grown kit on the Back to the Roots Facebook page, BTTR will donate a sustainability curriculum and kit to an elementary school of your choice!

Back to the Roots is also offering our readers a special discount!

Enter the code "Mushrooms4me10"
to take 10% off your first mushroom kit!


For your own chance to win a Back to the Roots Mushroom Farm, enter by leaving a comment and using our new Rafflecopter system below.

Contest is open to United States addresses only.

MANDATORY ENTRY: Visit and tell us something you've learned! You must enter your name and email address in the Rafflecopter entry system for your entry to count, after leaving a comment on the blog post.

Leave a valid email address so we can contact you if you win. Email addresses in Rafflecopter are not made publicly visible. Please leave the same valid email address in your mandatory comment so we can verify entries. If on Blogger, you can enter it like this to foil spambots: mail {at} naturalparentsnetwork {dot} com

This is a joint giveaway with Hobo Mama and Natural Parents Network. You may enter at one site only, and we'll be recording IP addresses to ensure that there are no duplicate entries. That said, please do visit and enjoy both sites!

See the Rafflecopter entry system for bonus entries to increase your chance of winning after completing the mandatory entry. All bonus entries are entered directly into Rafflecopter. Just click "Click for instructions" for guidance and then "I did this" — any comments or extra information such as URLs can be entered into the "Extra Info" box. Give it a try or visit the Rafflecopter tutorial, and email or leave a comment if you have any questions!

Contest closes November 30 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time.


Disclosure: Our reviewer received a sample product for review.
I try to seek out only products I think you would find
relevant and useful to your life as a natural parent.
If I don't like a product, I won't be recommending it to you.
See my full disclosure policy here.


newborn baby Alrik week 5 and brother mikko 4 years old with father on beachCrackerdog Sam (that's his hobo name) is a full-time work-from-home parent and a newly avid unschooler. He shares both the working and the parenting of four-year-old Mikko and five-month-old Alrik with Lauren of Hobo Mama.


Unknown said...

I know my mushroom loving family would LOVE this!

Unknown said...

Reusing 1 million lbs of coffee grounds! That is a great way to get the most out of them!

momandsons said...

I love that they use Peets coffee and tea in there product and love the recipes.

momandsons said...

Would love to get this for my husband and kids who love mushrooms eatting them, hunting for them, and growing them.

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