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News Link • Agriculture

From Mushrooms To Aquaponics, How Back To The Roots Is Taking Over Home Growing

•, by: Ben Paynter
For some inventors, the problem with creating a hit product is that you become pigeonholed by your own brand’s success. Take the so-called Mushroom Guys, Nikhil Arora and Alejandro Velez, two friends who started out growing mushrooms in recycled coffee grounds in the kitchen of a UC Berkeley frat house back in 2009. Their company, Back to the Roots, eventually sprouted into a smartly designed kit for grow-at-home oyster mushrooms, which pop out of a container about the size of a boxed-wine box. The kits were cool enough for a classroom and pretty enough to sit atop the kitchen counter, which led to deals with the likes of Whole Foods and Nordstrom’s--and the eventual nickname. “We are not the Mushroom Guys,” Velez says, noting that their ambition was always larger than that. “We love urban farming. Our passion is about food being discovered and other types of growing methods.” 

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