From Coffee Grounds to Mushrooms: How to Harvest Your Own

It doesn’t get any more local than this.  With foraging spots in the City becoming more limited (and risky if you aren’t a pro), most of us have had to abandon our fantasies of mushroom picking in Golden Gate Park and instead opt for grocery store or farmers’ market ‘shrooms.   However, there’s a new alternative for mushroom seekers – a home-growing starter kit by Back to the Roots.

I came across the mushroom kit while shopping last week at Whole Foods. Conceived by two University of California, Berkeley business students, the Back to the Roots biz model seeks to use waste in a profitable way.  The kit uses nutrient-rich discarded coffee grounds sourced from Peet’s Coffee & Tea to grow fresh mushrooms at home for multiple harvests (typically 2-3).  After that, replacement bags are available.

Image Courtesy of Vegan chef Chloe Coscarelli with her mushroom kit

The harvesting process is minimal and easy.  After cutting slits and soaking the bag for 24 hours, all you need to do it mist the soil two times a day.  In about 10 days, a crop of mushrooms should appear.  I’m on Day 7 (mushroom tops are starting to pop up!) and will be posting an update on Day 12.  Considering this kit is a favorite of top foodies, including up-and-coming star vegan chef Chloe Coscarelli and renown restaurateur  Alice Waters, I think I’m in good company.

Back to the Roots mushroom kit is available online and at Whole Foods Market stores across the nation.  I purchased mine at the Whole Foods on Haight Street.  A starter kit is $19.99 and replacements are $7.99, though it looks like you have to email the company directly to request the replacement for now.


  1. […] am happy to report that my Back to the Roots mushroom harvest was successful!  A crop of oyster mushrooms started sprouting around the eighth day, and by the […]

Speak Your Mind