Product: Back to the Roots Grow-at-Home Mushroom Kit
Back to the Roots was founded by two university students during their last semester at UC Berkeley in 2009. Four years later the two guys have not only become urban mushroom growers but have gotten into the business of developing ways to connect us to what we eat.
The good: As an urban backyard gardener I love the idea of growing my own oyster mushrooms out of a box. A fabulous getting back to our roots activity for adults and kids, this mushroom growing kit produces great tasting oyster mushrooms.
From a health standpoint, mushrooms are superheroes carrying huge clout. They offer you and your body B-vitamins, selenium, copper, potassium, iron and zinc as well as fibre and Vitamin D. And the news gets better. All mushrooms — in particular oyster mushrooms, along with shiitake and maitake — contain an antioxidant that can help strengthen your immune system.
The not-so-good: Read all of the directions including the ones on the inside flap. You need to soak the growing compound for 12 hours before starting and you need to mist twice daily for the next 10 days under the plastic and directly on the mushroom roots. My advice: don’t start this project if you are going away for a weekend.
What you can eat it with: Mushrooms can be sautéed, stir fried, baked, roasted or barbecued. Experiment.
Bottomline: Research suggests that if children grow their own vegetables they’ll eat them, even if they didn’t like them originally. Let’s hope this works on growing their own mushrooms because these tiny balls of fungi offer huge health benefits.
Photography, Mairlyn Smith.