Grow your own mushrooms | How About Orange

March 21, 2012

Grow your own mushrooms

Those who have followed this blog for awhile might remember the mushroom-growing experiment of yesteryear—the log that produced a couple shitakes and then required rest in a cold place (i.e. our fridge) while it gathered its energy to squeeze out a single mushroom. We got rid of it since the output didn't live up to the bounty we'd imagined, and who needs a log in their fridge?

So I was intrigued by an email from Back to the Roots, a sustainable urban mushroom farm in Oakland started by some Berkeley students. They grow gourmet mushrooms from recycled coffee grounds and sell kits that yield up to 1.5 lbs. of oyster mushrooms in about 10 days. Sounds fun! If anybody wants a kit, you can get 10% off your order by using the code Mushrooms4me10.

24 comments:

Silvia M. said...

So cool! And it seems simple enough... I think I might give it a go.

makakona said...

VERY cool! just bought two! our kids will love them in their easter baskets.

iris said...

No, no no! I had a TERRIBLE experience with Back to the Roots.

I am copying/pasting my situation below, but you should all know there's other places to buy mushroom kits!

Try Fungi Perfecti or Far West Fungi or Mushroom Adventures.


"I purchased my kit from BTTR Ventures in mid-February 2011, 3 days later was told there was a 7 day backorder, and then they didn't ship my order for 23 more days after that. I understand that the company was changing warehouses at the time but they broke several levels of customer trust: (1) if stock is on backorder, the company should post that on the website, (2) if stock is on 25 day backorder, the company should say so and not say they are on a 7 day backorder.

In short, I feel that BTTR Ventures manipulated me (and other customers) into buying their goods, when they were on severe backorder. If I had known at the 7-day backorder mark that it would've been another 23 days before I received my order, I would have cancelled it. I think this is what BTTR was attempting to avoid."

...after this, all they offered me was a 15% discount on a future purchase. Why would I ever purchase from them again?

Jessica Jones said...

Iris, thanks for those links and sharing your experience!

Nina said...

I hadn't heard about growing mushrooms on coffee grounds until last week, when I discovered a friend has set up a company doing just that (www.facebook.com/EspressoMushroomCo). Then I watched a TED talk that mentioned the idea. Now this! AND I just learned the name of the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon.

Grandma G said...

Now if only I liked mushrooms.....

Mum

Tan said...

Iris that's too bad you had that experience!
We're lucky in that our neighbour sells these logs so we get mushrooms quite often when the season is right :)

Karen said...

I'd love to grow my own mushrooms but $20 for 1.5 lbs is a little rich for my blood.

Jessica Jones said...

I think I read that you'll get 2-4 crops, so that's a little better. You're also paying for some packaging and entertainment value, I guess!

Anonymous said...

I did a kit like that 30 years ago- worked great :)

Gwen Charles said...

i just ate my mushrooms that i grew from the Back to the Roots kit from today! A friend bought for me as a gift at Whole Foods. Soaking again to try for a second batch of mushrooms.

check out the photos I took of the mushrooms at their peak. http://www.flickr.com/photos/gwencharles/6857595774/

Danger Kitty Designs said...

I won a kit from a blog last year, and while the mushrooms were delicious and made an amazing meal (when combined with button mushrooms), the yield does not justify the price tag. I wish it did. I really wish I could say they were awesome and I'll keep buying refills, but I just won't. And that makes me sad, but I feel as if I should let people know how far their money will be going.

Nancy said...

This is such an amazing idea!

http://www.etsy.com/shop/sweeteststrawberry

Su-sieee! Mac said...

Ha ha. I wrote about this product last week. My mushrooms have sprouted out, but they don't look "normal" like the ones that are sprouting at the store where I bought the package. I'm having fun pretending I'm rain when I spritz it.

Adam in Texas said...

I've used a mushroom kit (from another vendor) and it worked great!

Megan said...

...And the box is orange.

Lo said...

Thank you for an inpspiring blog!
Lo

Anonymous said...

Saw this box at Whole Foods, and growing the mushrooms (it listed two growings per box), the mushrooms were going to be 3x the cost of purchasing the same mushrooms! I'm all for fresh and delicious homegrown food, but paying 3 times more for that privilege (and the ensuing work) does not seem worthwhile...

Amanda B. said...

I got one of these and it was awesome! I believe it was through a daily deal voucher site. No problems at all.

One thing I'll say is this: you have to be ready to use it! I left it for a few days and the humidity in our apartment caused mushrooms to start growing before I opened it. One grew through the handle!

Chase Clark l Oh The Cuteness! said...

I've done these before - bought the kit right from them since I live just up the road in Oakland - and they're wonderful! I love that they recycle coffee grounds from nearby roasters for the inside of the kits.

next door Laura said...

I have used spore from this company in Wisconsin to innoculate logs ato grow shiitake mushrooms. We made a large number of 3-4 foot long logs for a community education class. http://www.fieldforest.net/store/index.php?main_page=page&id=3&chapter=0

They also sell kits for growing mushrooms on TP rolls. I've always thought would be great for a classroom project. (Sadly, I am not a teacher.)http://www.fieldforest.net/store/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=1_17_28

The price of these projects is probably not returned in mushrooms produced, but heck, we are growing our own mushrooms!

next door Laura said...

Correction: It is spawn, not spore that we have used from Field and Forest Products. A true mycologist would not have made that rookie mistake.

Pardon me.

LaurenAHHH said...

I bought two of these as Christmas gifts and they seem to produce a ton of mushrooms. I think my kits were a little over 15 but 20 dollars. Mine shipped fast, and seemed to produce a lot, I think they're cute. :)

Quantumhollapena said...

Thanks for the link! I bought two, one for myself (yey mushrooms!) and one for my best friend's bday coming up in may. it's the perfect present

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