I’m Home…And Back to the Roots


I just got back to the states, and still have many posts I would like to share about my experience abroad … don’t worry. Over the rest of summer and once school starts up, I plan to compose some posts about surviving in a different country, tips to avoid being pick-pocketed, traveling advice and maybe some inspirational photos. Right when I got home I felt a little relieved, but the truth is I still wanted to be in Spain. The Euro 2012 soccer games were still going on, Olympics starting up and coverage over Spain in the states was booming. I wanted to turn right around and go back! Over a few weeks, hours upon hours of editing photos, and seeing old friends, it was nice to finally be back in my roots.

My summer has been jammed with working, volunteering, concerts and adventuring through the beautiful state of Wisconsin. I also received a gift from my oldest brother and joined the Back to the Roots community. Back to the Roots was founded at UC Berkeley in 2009 two months away from graduation when two students came across the idea during a class lecture of being able to potentially grow gourmet mushrooms entirely on recycled coffee grounds. Inspired by the idea of turning waste into wages and fresh, local food, they experimented in a fraternity kitchen, ultimately growing one test bucket of tasty oyster mushrooms on recycled coffee grounds. With that one bucket, some initial interest from Whole Foods and a grant they decided to forget the corporate route, and instead, become full-time urban mushroom farmers.

They offer a grow a Grow-Your-Own Mushroom Garden which lets anyone, across the country grow their own gourmet mushrooms at home (see video). Part of my job in the community is to upload photos of my mushrooms, provide them with feedback, and sit in on webinars with the founders. When I post a picture with your kit fully grown on their facebook page they will donate a kit and sustainability curriculum to an elementary classroom of my choice to support youth sustainability education! They’ve reached over 10,000 kids with this campaign. I can’t wait to bring my kit to school with me and it does feel nice to be back in the states!

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