Turning Coffee into Mushrooms

Two of my favourite things are coffee and mushrooms, so I was ecstatic to find that a company has found a way to turn used coffee grounds into delicious oyster mushrooms in as little as 10 days! More than just a lesson in sustainability, the Back to the Roots, Grow-Your-Own Mushroom Garden kit, is a wonderful, edible science experiment that comes in a neatly self- contained package that can grow multiple crops of up to 1.5 pounds of  tasty pearl oyster mushrooms.

Founded by Alejandro Velez and Nikhil Arora in 2009, Back to the Roots was inspired while in their last semester at UC Berkeley, where their path veered off from joining the corporate world of investment banking and consulting, into “turning waste into wages and fresh, local food.” Through much experimentation, Alejandro and Nikhil were able to ultimately grow one test bucket of oyster mushrooms from recycled coffee grounds, which set their path as full-time urban mushroom farmers.

In addition to their Mushroom Kit intended for cultivation inside your home, Back to the Roots has also developed a premium soil amendment for your outdoor garden made from a 100% organic recycled coffee ground and mushroom compost blend, and in the spirit of recycling, sell replacement bags for your indoor mushroom kit.

Highly awarded and recognized for their innovative product, Back to the Roots should be equally commended for their commitment to their community; from helping to create and sustain urban community gardens and school programs, dedication to creating local jobs, to heading The Sage Mentorship Project, a non-profit organization that pairs UC Berkeley mentors with low-income Berkeley and Oakland elementary school students, started by Alejandro during college.

In 2011, Back to the Roots collected and reused 1 million pounds of coffee grounds from Peet’s Coffee & Tea, helped families grow over 250,000 pounds of fresh food at home, and sustained 10 urban school and community gardens with their premium soil amendment.

Who knew that used coffee grounds and the modest mushroom could do so much good.

Thank you Back to the Roots for making our world wonderful.

LET ME KNOW, REPLY BELOW: If you could grow anything else out of an indoor home gardening kit, what would it be?

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4 comments

  1. GODWILL MAZIWISA

    Iam quite amazed that,it could be possible to grow mushroom from used coffee ground.May you send me more information on how to go about it,im quite interested.Iam also interested in any other projects of interest
    which i can undertake.My details are as below.

    Kind Regards
    Godwill MAZIWISA

  2. Hi Godwill, the company featured in this post is called Back to Roots. You can visit their website http://www.backtotheroots.com/index.php for more information on how they use coffee grounds to grow mushrooms!

  3. Jess Everard

    I would love to see an herb garden. I can’t wait to order these for gifts!

  4. Hi Jess,

    It’s makes a great gift! I gave one to a friend who was starting his own little windowsill garden. He loved it!

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