Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Mini-mushroom growing kit (Back to the Roots) Review

Gourmet Oyster Mushroom Mini Grow Kit

Back to the Roots

I had the opportunity to try several of the growing kits from Back to the Roots. The weather has been a little rainy, so I haven't tried out all of them yet. I will review those later in the year.

I was provided with coupons for the kits, but it turned out they were only available at certain locations. It was almost a scavenger hunt to find them, once I found the right store, and THEN they didn't want to take my coupons, but I eventually was able to exchange the coupons for the items.

These kits are neatly packaged, containing everything needed to grow, clear instructions, and best of all, I didn't need warm sunny days to start. The drawback...I'd never eaten oyster mushrooms, so I wasn't quite sure about eating the finished product, lol.


The premise behind the company:

Our story

How we got our start?
In a college class, we learned that mushrooms could grow entirely on spent coffee grounds. After watching hours of how-to videos and turning our college apartment into a science experiment, we gave up our corporate job offers and became full-time urban mushroom farmers in Oakland, CA.
What makes our product unique?
Our indoor gardening kits were created from a passion to reconnect families to food. We want to inspire everyone to ask where their food comes from and experience the magic of growing it themselves.
Why we love what we do?
We feel so fortunate to be able to work every day towards a mission we love and are so passionate about. We think there is a false divide in business - of "not for profits" or "for profit companies" - they should all just be "for purpose"!


I removed the contents from the cute little box...

X was easily cut into packaging

Plastic flaps peeled back

Score the substrate (I used a toothpick)

Turn package upside down and soak

Of course, I forgot to remove the package from the water before I went to bed...so it soaked a little longer than the instructions said...

Back in the box (March 31, 2020)

The one thing I had to do several times is remove the substrate from the box to peel the flaps back, because I couldn't position them properly at first. Of course, I didn't notice until I had tucked everything together (twice!), so I had to undo the box each time. Fortunately, it's very easy to put together.

When the baby mushrooms start appearing, it's called pinning

Baby mushrooms, April 4, 2020

I'm a REALLY impatient gardener (as in, I have been known to dig up seeds just to see if anything is happening), so it is SO much fun to see this happening so quickly.

April 5, 2020

I became concerned that the box was restricting the mushroom growth, so I used a box knife to cut a flap from the top and lifted it up.

April 6, 2020

April 7, 2020 (penny for size comparison)

April 8, 2020--HARVEST DAY!

I was afraid to wait any longer, so I decided to harvest. Then there was the challenge of figuring out how that worked. I finally took a sharp knife and sawed away...(instilling fear into my hubby, who worries that I will be a klutz like normal and cut myself)...

Underside of mushroom cluster so gills can be seen



Omelet w/mushrooms and cheese (plus bacon and hash browns

We like to have breakfast for dinner sometimes, so I fried some of the chopped mushrooms, then put them in an omelet. They were just a little more chewy than the button mushrooms I'm used to, but delicious.

There were enough mushrooms to make two omelets, plus plenty to add to the spaghetti sauce for the next night's dinner.

I've started composting, so I added the substrate and the nifty cardboard to the pile. Who knows if I will get additional mushrooms if the materials don't break down quickly!

This was a fun and tasty project, and I'm looking forward to more adventures with my other Back to the Roots kits! Stay tuned...

Have you started plants for your garden (indoors, if you are still having chilly days)? What are you growing?


  1. I got some coupons too but couldn't find them anywhere.

    1. They were only at WalMart in my neck of the woods, Mary. And I had to ask several folks before one used the app to locate it in the store. I warn you...don't try to use more than two coupons at once AND I had to pay sales tax!

  2. wow, that is so cool. i kinda have a brown thumb. i don't garden, but i feel i may regret that this year
    sherry @ fundinmental

    1. I've slowly been working my way up, sherry. I usually grow tomatoes (it's amazing how different they taste when you pick them and eat them right away, lol) and now I have Swiss chard, sweet potatoes, green onions, and I'm waiting to see if I'll actually get more than one strawberry a week, lol. I haven't found lettuce that I like yet, but I have baby bok choy seedlings and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they grow.