Gallery: PRODUCT REVIEW: Back to the Roots’ Mushroom Growing Kit is Fun...

This mushroom looks like a fun-guy!When we first heard about Back to the Roots' at-home mushroom growing kit, we knew we had to give it a try. The thought of harvesting succulent, umami-packed oyster mushrooms right in our kitchen sounded wonderful but the
This mushroom looks like a fun-guy!

When we first heard about Back to the Roots' at-home mushroom growing kit, we knew we had to give it a try. The thought of harvesting succulent, umami-packed oyster mushrooms right in our kitchen sounded wonderful but the proof is, as they say, in the fungi (just kidding, no one says that). To our delight, the instructions were easy to follow, and our mushrooms sprouted within just a month. But then something strange happened...

Are our minds in the gutter or does this mushroom look a little…odd?

The smaller mushrooms that popped up seem just fine, but is it us or does the ginormous one on the right look a little… unsettling? Then again, growing mushrooms is not a beauty contest, so we should point out that just based on the facts, the kit is easy to use and if we brown thumbs could get our mushrooms to sprout, you have nothing to worry about. But we did wonder what we did wrong to cultivate this undeniably profane-looking beast of a fungus when all of these other satisfied customers got tasty-looking, more, er, typical blooms.

So what can you expect if you purchase one of Back to the Roots’ mini mushroom farms? Each kit comes in a clever cardboard box that also does double duty as a growing container. To get our mushroom farm started, we just followed the instructions (cut the bag filled with spores and 100% recycled coffee grounds, soak it overnight and then spritz with the included water spray bottle a few times a day), and that’s basically it.

The Back to the Roots website says that the kit has “the potential to yield one pound of mushrooms per crop in 10 days” but ours took about 28 days to sprout (we may not have been spritzing enough). Everything was easy as pie and we’re pleased with the results except for the fact that we just don’t seem to find our monster mushroom very appetizing. Still, each box guarantees 2-4 yields, so maybe we’ll have better luck with the next one. Who knows? Maybe we’ll even sprout a Jesus-shaped mushroom that we can sell on eBay!

+ Back to the Roots Mushroom Growing Kit – $19.99

Photos by Yuka Yoneda


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  1. muhroom April 6, 2013 at 11:28 am

    Back to the Roots says in April 2013: We’ve since stopped bulk mushroom farming and are focusing our efforts on developing inspirational products to connect families to food and building a movement around them to make food personal again!

    And no more coffee – “The soil inside is 100% recycled plant-based waste safe & sustainable”

  2. BacktotheRoots_Jared April 9, 2012 at 11:36 am

    Jsalvage – First of all, thank you for trying our mushroom kit! We guarantee our product 100% and are here to help you along the way. We want to see you grow amazing oysters mushrooms and are going to help you make it happen with the kit you have now – or we’ll send you a new one! I’ll give you a few tips, but please do be in touch with me – send me a picture of your kits or give me a call anytime ( or call our office 510-922-9758)!

    In order to restart the fruiting process, please resoak the entire bag and keep it well hydrated with your spritzer. Keep the mushroom kit somewhere in your home where it will get a little fresh air (by a cracked window) and away from any heater/air conditioner.

    I look forward to hearing from you and want to help you have better success on your second try!

  3. jsalvage April 7, 2012 at 4:26 am

    i bought two of these for my wife and had horrible luck. a few mushrooms on one box. none on the other. we did what you did. but basically no results. our friend a high school biology teacher had equally dissappointing results.

  4. Yuka Yoneda April 6, 2012 at 8:22 am

    Thanks for this tips Nikhil! We still love our mushrooms but thought it would be fun to share their interesting shape. YY

  5. backtotheroots_nikhil April 5, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Thanks for trying our kit! This is Nikhil, one of the co-founders of Back to the Roots – we really appreciate the support and interest in what we’re working on! Each mushroom is still a living plant and can grow in its own unique way – that being said, the ones you grew are still edible and delicious! Also they are a bit lanky – and that’s often a condition of not enough fresh air (when you grow your next crop, just put it next to a window and you’ll see some more ’round’ mushrooms). Also, shoot me an email at nikhil at – would love to connect more! thanks!

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