mushrooms

A Mushroom Growing Giveaway

One of the reasons I thought it would be fun to have a food blog many years ago is that I figured companies would send me cool products and foods to try out for free.

I very quickly realized that this is more of a curse than a blessing.

These days I get a lot of emails about new products. Way more than I can try out especially considering I don’t want to try out 95% of them.

I try to be very picky about the products I accept for free and also even pickier about the products that I actually post on.

But, when I was given the opportunity by Back to the Roots to try out their oyster mushroom kit, I couldn’t pass it up!

Let me start by disclosing that the company obviously sent me this kit for free. Trust me though… this doesn’t really affect me at this point in my blogger career. I get sent a lot of stuff for free and most of it never sees the light of day.

Plus I think the photos pretty much speak for themselves.

The Kit

So this kit is kind of a crazy thing. The first thing I noticed when I got it was how heavy it was. The company uses recycled coffee grounds as food for the mushrooms and they really pack them in tightly.

The instructions are pretty straightforward. They say to cut a large plus sign in the plastic which is easy enough and then to soak the bag (not the box) for 24 hours.

After I soaked mine, I must admit that I was a bit skeptical that this would work. This is mainly because I have no idea how mushrooms work. I figured that all the little spores were maybe washed away while the soaking was happening.

But no!

About 24 hours later, I noticed some little spores sprouting on the surface.

spores

Spores!

The only maintenance that’s required from this point on is just to give the mushrooms a quick spritz twice a day with a spritzer that they even include. I, of course, immediately lost the one they sent me so I just used one I had in my kitchen.

And so began the mushroom explosion. Mushrooms, it turns out, grow faster than anything I’ve seen.

This was after another 24-36 hours.

growing

So cool.

And then another day or two later…

growing

Getting big!

In total, it took me about 7-8 days to get my full mushrooms.

You can grow mushrooms from both sides of the kit, so you get at least two crops out of the kit. That said, I noticed that I already have a few new spores growing on my original side. On their website they say that you can occasionally get 3-4 crops if you’re lucky!

One key thing that they don’t mention on the packaging is to harvest the mushrooms quickly. If you let them sit on the box, they will start to wilt a bit. So cut them off when they get really big and store them in the fridge.

A Mushroom Galette

mushrooms

The galette

Once I had my mushrooms, I decided to bake them in a homemade pie crust with some leeks, butter, and swiss cheese.

So delicious.

For the whole recipe, click the Print the Recipe link at the bottom of the post!

Giveaway and Other Stuff

kit

The Kit!

Okay. So there are three cool things that Back to the Roots is doing:

1) A giveaway! If you leave a comment on this post, you’ll be entered to win your very own mushroom garden kit! I’ll pick a winner randomly at 7PM Eastern Time tonight.

2) Discount! If you don’t win, you can get 10% off a kit by using the code: mushrooms4me10. You can check out the kit on their website.

3) School Giveaway! I can definitely see how this would be awesome for kids to do. If you take a photo of your kit growing and post it on the company’s facebook page, they’ll send a free kit and sustainability guide to an elementary school of your choice!

So cool. So leave a comment, grow some mushrooms, and eat some mushrooms!

UPDATE: Reader Sonja won the mushroom kit giveaway! If you didn’t win, remember that you can order one for 10% off and if you take a photo of it and post it on their facebook page, they’ll send one to a school of your choice! Congrats Sonja!

129 comments on “A Mushroom Growing Giveaway

  1. Hah, curses, I've been doing this for almost two months, where's my kitchen full of free junk?! =P

  2. Oh man, look at that thing! MUSHROOMS! IN YOUR KITCHEN!

    (Actually, when I was a kid, we had a flood in our basement and did have mushrooms growing out of the carpet for a while, which was weird and very "Alice in Wonderland"-y to a 6yo girl. This is definitely a less distressing way to have fungi in your home.)
    My recent post Cookie tales

  3. Comment! If I win, I will bestow upon you my semi-secret recipe for mushroom turnovers (aw, hell, I'll send it to you anyway if you want it. Three words: cream cheese crustiness.)

    PS DC misses you. The cupcake bakeries are taking over. Send help.

  4. Mushrooms look so cool, yet creepy while growing! I think my kid would love to see these grow :)

  5. That is Neat! I L-o-v-e Mushrooms of all kinds, but don't have a yard to grow them. . . I would love to try this technique!

  6. I have only very recently converted to a lover of mushrooms and would love to grow anything in my tiny apartment kitchen.

  7. I just saw another post about Back to the Roots recently. I would love to try this kit out!

  8. Ah haha, nothing like a giveaway to convince a person to comment. ESPECIALLY mushrooms. If I could I would put mushrooms on anything.

    I wonder how well these ones sautée…. :3c

  9. This looks amazing! Mushrooms are definitely my favorite food, never thought to grow them at home!

  10. Nick, this looks awesome! Do you throw away the kit when it's done growing, or is it reuseable at all?

    I hope I win!

    1. The cardboard part is compostable/recycleable as is the coffee grounds. The only part that I'm not sure on is the plastic bag that the coffee grounds come in.

  11. I love mushrooms more than anything! I also love that you included a recipe using them. Either way, I am going to be trying that galette sometime soon.

  12. I don't even like mushrooms but I know my boyfriend would LOVE this and he packed and moved us both all by himself while I was away at work, so I think he deserves this :)

  13. I wrote about these guys a while ago on my blog. Love the concept. And they seem like a great company, too. Super responsive.

  14. Wow, I have never seen anything like this. I grow sprouts and would love to try growing mushrooms. Thanks!

  15. The last time I grew mushrooms, it involved a giant oak log, a drill (and not a few broken drill bits) and about 100 plugs that had to be inserted by hand. This would be much easier! Also, 6 ft long pieces of oak would really reduce the amount of usable space in my apartment.

  16. With an 18 year old who is just starting his food blog this is good news for me. He spends a fortune on food. Free stuff! we can only hope.

  17. This. Is very cool. It also sounds like something I can keep alive. I planted a garden this year and so far it's thriving, but this would be the first year where I didn't kill everything before they even produced food LOL
    My recent post True Colors Swap: The Arrival

  18. Wow this is really cool, would <3 to try and grow my own mushrooms! :) Thanks for the chance to win my very own MUSHROOM GARDEN. By the way <3 your website!

  19. Wow this is really cool, would LOVE to try and grow my own mushrooms! :) Thanks for the chance to win my very own MUSHROOM GARDEN. By the way LOVE your website!

  20. Great giveaway. I love mushrooms. Very nice that they are offering one to an elementary school alsoo.

  21. Thanks for the opportunity to win a great prize such as this! It brings back memories of when my Father would go hunting in the woods , and come back with bags full of mushrooms found only on Willow tree logs that were decaying. My Mother would then prepare them in many ways, my favorite being Fritters! Once again Thanks! If not but just for the memory!

  22. What a fabulous idea! We live in a tiny apartment, and I thought it would only be possible to grow herbs on our little patch of patio. Never thought mushrooms would be possible…would love to try growing these!

  23. I'm a huge fan of shrooms of all types! This also gives me some ideas for using my old coffee grounds. It's time, now, to do a search of the web for spore suppliers! Thanks for this, Nick!

  24. I was just looking at my wilting basil plant, wishing I had more luck with growing things. It looks like even I wouldn't be able to screw this up!

  25. Very cool! I have been intrigued by these for a while. Thanks for sharing the photos and the chance to win!
    :)

  26. Huge mushroom fan here. And I would totally be up to sharing with some friends higher in the comment thread if I win!

  27. Mushroom garden… Where the calories of the cardboard box outweighs the calories of the 'shrooms. Who doesn't love mushrooms? Thanks for the posting, Nick.

  28. lol. Nice how a giveaway brings out the poster in your readers isn't it?

    Anyhow, I've posted before and therefore do not feel bad in asking for freebies. =)

    Mushrooms, gods delicious gift to eating raw food. Cooked mushrooms = yucky.

    – Liz.

  29. I've been thinking about buying this for about a month or two now as a gift. Great to see that it grows well!

  30. These are so awesome! I have always wanted to buy one of these kits – I wonder if they make them for Morels? ;)

  31. I have 3 grand kids for 2 weeks in August, and this would be a hoot! (I'm probably the one who will enjoy it the most, so maybe I should say there will be 4 kids at my house during that time.) I always hated mushrooms growing up but finally realized it was those awful canned, slimy things I got and hated. Once I started cooking real shrooms and adding eggs for omelets, I decided the real ones could be wonderful. Haven't progressed yet to lots of raw ones in salads, but I'm sure that will happen eventually.

  32. Mushrooms are the "earth's internet" as Paul Stamets says. They are amazingly powerful little wonders. I hope you explore some other gourmet mushroom cultivation kits! Maybe you could do a a dish of "foraged" foods for your vegetarian readers someday?

  33. I've always been a little skeptical about the smaller grow kits, but I'm glad you had a good experience!

  34. I bought one of these kits a few years ago. (different brand) It didn't work…at all. No sign of life AT ALL. Considering this, I'll let THAT brand go unnamed. But, I'm still a little bitter about it.
    My recent post Griddle-Fried Duck Eggs

  35. I would love to win this! My daughter is 8 and loves mushrooms and food science, perfect combo!

  36. What a great home project for mushroom lovers and I definitely include my husband and myself in that group – it's like dropping one drop of water in the ocean but this is my entry.

  37. So great! I've been looking at these mushroom growing kits for awhile now — would love to try them! Thanks for reviewing this kit, and for your great blog (so far we've tried your cast iron pizza, cast iron macaroni and cheese, pumpkin spice cupcakes, and others — we've loved them all)!

  38. Great post! I love a company that encourages education along with offering a fun and useful product and kudos to you for posting about it! On the topic of education, when I was younger my dad picked mushrooms from our yard swearing they weren't poisonous and put them in a gazpacho soup. Everyone got sick except me because I passed on dinner that night. He still insists it wasn't the mushrooms but everyone else believes otherwise!

  39. Wow, this looks so awesome! Mushrooms are kind of pricey, if you can get 2 or 3 crops from this it would be fairly cost-effective!

  40. Fantastic! Is there any mushroom soup in your future? And isn’t it interesting how things you grow yourself always seem to taste better:-)

  41. Wow! Do they do shiitake, or porcini? This is such a good idea.

    New commenter, but longtime lurker. Love the site, have gotten lots of great recipes – thanks!

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