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.
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.
About 24 hours later, I noticed some little spores sprouting on the surface.
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.
And then another day or two later…
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
Once I had my mushrooms, I decided to bake them in a homemade pie crust with some leeks, butter, and swiss cheese.
For the whole recipe, click the Print the Recipe link at the bottom of the post!
Giveaway and Other Stuff
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!