Earlier this year, Dana from Eartheasy contacted me about doing a review. I’m often hesitant to promote companies or products on this blog, which is generally about consuming less, but she made me an offer I couldn’t refuse: a grow-your-own mushroom kit from Back to the Roots. I’d heard of Back to the Roots before and liked what I knew of them: a small Oakland, CA company that takes waste coffee grounds from Peet’s Coffee, innoculates them with oyster mushroom spores, and sells them as kits to curious suburbanites like me.
I checked out Eartheasy, too. It’s a family owned online store that sells a variety of tools for more sustainable living: low flow shower heads, compost bins, non-toxic pest control aids. Nothing too fluffy or frivolous here. Their goal is ‘to encourage, inspire and inform people about the benefits of a simpler, less material lifestyle, and the importance of protecting our natural environment as the source of our well-being.’ Eartheasy also contains lots of free guides on gardening, composting, energy efficiency, and independent living. My trigger-happy greenwashing alarm never went off.
Dana was friendly and quick to answer my questions, and the mushroom kit arrived quickly with minimal packaging. The kit itself is a cardboard box with a plastic bag sealed with a peculiar-looking white/orange mushroom culture. It comes with a little spray bottle to mist the culture. Instructions for growing the mushrooms are incredibly simple: cut a cross in the plastic bag, soak for a day, mist twice a day. (Or more, if you live in a dry climate.) Watching them grow is so much fun. Once the tiny little pinhead mushrooms have started to come up, they grow visibly every couple hours. Go to bed, and they will be an inch bigger in the morning.
They were delicious stir-fried and on top of pizza. Storebought oyster mushrooms tend toward the flaccid. These were very crisp and dense. And when you’ve harvested all your mushrooms, you can soak the bag again, turn it around, and grow a second harvest.
How green is this mushroom kit? It reuses waste materials and produces food. No, it’s not a necessary item, but I think being able to observe science up close and personal is worth something, especially for kids.
Eartheasy has generously offered to host a giveaway for a mushroom kit for one of my readers. You can do any one entry or all of them to improve your odds. Please leave all entries in one comment.
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- (NEW entry) Share this giveaway on Twitter or FB: something like “Win a free mushroom kit from @eartheasy and @noteasy2begreen! #giveaway”
Good luck! Contest ends Monday, April 9 and is open to US residents only.
Disclaimer: I was given a free mushroom kit by Eartheasy in return for this review. My opinions are my own.