Monday, July 4, 2011

Back to the Roots~Mushroom Kit Giveaway

  I was very fortunate to be contacted recently by Nikhil Arora, one of the co-founders of a company called, Back to the Roots.
Nikhil's company produces Grow-It-At-Home mushroom garden kits. With these kits, you can grow your own oyster mushrooms (up to 1 pound) in your own home! These mushrooms are sustainably grown using recycled coffee grounds!

Nikhil wanted me to give it a try and see what I would like to make with these mushrooms. I was honest with Nikhil. I told him I am not a mushroom lover but I was really interested in this kit and I thought this would be a good challenge to get my family to try mushrooms.
And fortunately Nikhil was ready to put me up to the challenge (poor guy, I pestered him with a million questions!)

I can't tell you how excited I was to start using these kits. And as you can tell, Alex was pretty daggone excited about it too!

Can't you tell I'm excited? I'm using lots of exclamation points!!

I thought this was a perfect project for Alex. This was something he could do all by himself and really watch the fruit of his labor grow. We have a small garden at the back of our house. I find he has really enjoyed watching where his food comes from, taking care of it, as well as trying more of the veggies our garden has produced.

Y'all, this is like a science project that you can eat!

This kit really is easy. It comes with absolutely everything you need. Even a little mister to water the mushrooms every day. Just open the top of this kit and inside you will find instructions as well as the mister.

First you gotta open one of the panels on the side of the box (there are two panels, but you're only gonna open one to start with). This was probably the hardest part of the whole process.
It required intense concentration on Alex's part.

Then, using some scissors, make some slits into the side of the kit.
 This will let air into the so the mushrooms will start growing
Please note: the instructions say to make a "T" shape going from one of the package to the other. We made a mistake and made and "X" shape. But it still worked!

Next, take the plastic kit out of the box and soak it overnight. Save your cardboard box. You'll need it to put the kit back into later.
 Now you gotta put something on top so the kit doesn't just float on top of the water. I just used a slightly heavy bowl.
Here it is the next day. Kinda looks like tea, don't it?
Now, take it out of the water. Shake off the excess water and put it back into the cardboard box.

 For the first few days you won't see anything. 
Just make sure you mist it with water twice a day.
Around the 6th day, you will start to see these little mushroom buds. And boy oh boy, this is where the fun really begins. Each day you will literally see it double in size!
 Our mushrooms actually started growing from the side of the box but it didn't seem to mind.
 These are shots day to day. Look at the growth!
 One more day to go and we'll be ready to harvest.
 Here they are ready to pick off and make dinner!
We really enjoyed this little mushroom garden. And the best thing is, you just flip the box around and there is another panel so you can start the whole process over again. We are now working on our second crop of mushrooms. All from the same kit!

Wanna know what else is great about this company? They help schools! 

Back to the Roots is running a campaign right now where if you post a 
picture of a grown kit on their Facebook page, they will donate a sustainability curriculum and kit to an elementary school of your choice!
That's right, a school right in your neighborhood will get one of these kits as well!

For all you parents, this will totally get you PTA brownie points!

And I have more good news, one of y'all can actually win one of these kits!

Here's how to enter:
Become a fan of Back to the Roots facebook page 
Follow Back to the Roots on twitter
Leave me a comment telling me what you would like to 
make with your mushrooms.

Leave a separate comment telling me you did each of those things and you will have more chances to win.  
Don't forget to leave an e-mail address so I can get back to you if you win.

Contest ends at midnight EST on July 8th, 2011
Contest open to U.S. residents only (sorry to my international friends).

~Please stay tuned. ~
Tomorrow I will be sharing a dish I made using these oyster mushrooms!

Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any way for this giveaway. My family was provided with a kit so that we could give it a test drive. The company also provided a kit for the winner of this giveaway. All thoughts and opinions about this product and company are mine and mine alone.


  1. I liked them on facebook! :)

  2. I just love the idea of this contest and it would thrill my science-obsessed little boys! We would likely use them to make a sauce for the steak we buy from the farm down the road. Thanks so much for offering this giveaway!

  3. I like them on facebook. Thanks again!

  4. I would use them for pizza! :)

    p.s. This has got to be the coolest thing I have ever seen! A mushroom kit, way cool!

  5. I have never eaten this type of mushroom, your right, what a great project for the little ones!

  6. I love the pics of your sweet little Alex, what a doll with that white blonde hair like momma! Ok, I have never heard of oyster mushrooms, but when we have regular mushrooms, we love to sautee them in butter and eat them as a side. The other night we sauteed them with green beans from the garden, oh man was that ever good! Little Avery asked for "Mo beans, pwease" at least 3 times!!!!


    lol :)

    I liked them on facebook.

  8. Hi Brandie. What a great project for Alex! I liked and followed on Facebook and Twitter. I've never had oyster mushrooms! Happy 4th!

  9. I would also add them to pizza or to the sauce for a Mexican dish I make.

  10. I love mushrooms on pizza. :) Great giveaway!

  11. What an absolutely fantastic idea, especially to do with kids. I'd love to do this kind of thing with Dudette. There's a Leek and Morel Strata in Fine Cooking I'd love to make and since I can't get my hands on morels, I'd settle for home-grown oyster mushrooms in a heartbeat. :)

  12. Heather BridenstineJuly 4, 2011 at 11:33 PM

    I am a FB fan!

  13. Heather BridenstineJuly 4, 2011 at 11:34 PM

    My husband and I are HUGE mushroom fans!! We cook them weekly! Sooooooooo, we would be incorporating them in lots of our dishes. I think they would be great in a stir-fry!!

  14. My husband is the "little kid" in our house. who love mushrooms! He would love, this kit, too. He would saute the mushrooms. and put them in a pasta dish.

  15. Years ago when I lived in Australia with my husband a group of "Girl Guides" (Australia's version of Girl Scouts) was selling these types of kits to raise money for their group. We bought one white button and one baby portabella. It was the gift that kept on giving and giving and giving. It started to be rather funny, coming up with mushroom style dishes. We used to laugh and say the kits would take over the house and we'd be up to our eyebrows in mushrooms. Try some fabulous Cream of Mushroom soup though.. it is unbelievable with fresh mushrooms. Yum!

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  17. If I win the mushroom kit, I will be trying them in a casserole that I usually use morel mushrooms in--noodles, sauce, sort of stroganoff-y; also sauteed on strip steak with carmelized onions, and in a sort of crepe dish with white sauce and baby asparagus--also usually use morels in this one! My e-mail (should I win) is ~~Thanks!~~

  18. Hi! I am now following on Twitter (joined twitter in order to do this!) and Facebook and left you a separate comment about what dishes i will make using the mushrooms! Thanks so much for your great blog and recipes! Also, for the chance to win this giveaway! I've never been a big mushroom fan, but lately have been kind of e-mail, should I win--optimistic, optimistic!!! is: Thanks!

  19. Wow Brandie..this is so cool! What a fun project for your son..wonderful in every possible way!

  20. Oh how fun. I love things like this. I would make sauted mushrooms with garlic to go over a fantastic grilled steak!

  21. How cool is that?! My kiddos would have a blast with this! I "liked" them on FB and I think sautee those mushrooms up and serve them with pasta.

  22. "Maybe" my hubby would eat mushrooms if he saw them growing in our house???? Nah, probably not, but it's OK...there will be more for me!!!

    Let's see...I think I'd make a lovely mushroom cream sauce to top some pork chops.

  23. i would make a sauteed chicken livers in cream sauce with thyme and homegrown mushrooms!!

  24. liked them on facebook. I would love to make a cream of mushroom soup with the mushrooms. I am tickled to find your blog and love the recipes!

  25. I'm a fan of back to roots and have been for a long time. Aren't they amazing! I would love to get a kit and can them up. I'm a home canning nut and this would be an awesome thing to give away at Christmas.

  26. Way ahead on liking them on Facebook. They published and led me to you! Nice blog!

  27. I "liked" Back to the Roots FB page and are following them on twitter.

  28. I would make Chicken Marsala. Love this dish. My daughter who is 17 loves to cook and learned how to make it too. She loves to make this dish and eat it too!

  29. I love your site, and this mushroom kit is about the coolest idea ever. I would love to try it myself, but I have a best friend who's daughter is home schooled and this would be a great project for science and home ec. for them, so if I won I would give it to them. Thank you for the link I will share it.

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