A couple of years ago, I told you about the Back to the Roots Easy-to-Grow Mushroom Garden that grows oyster mushrooms using the recycled grounds of coffee. The company diverts coffee waste from landfills and helps home cooks grow mushrooms right in their own kitchen.


The 3-year-old company is now raising money through Kickstarter for another sustainable product that they want to be able to offer to home cooks. It’s a table-top aquaponics garden. In a closed-loop ecosystem, it will be both a fish tank that cleans itself and a garden that grows beans, basil, thyme, baby greens, oregano, mint, parsley, spinach and more indoors year-round.


Here’s how the garden works. The fish release waste into the water (and by waste, yes I mean pee and poop). That waste breaks down into beneficial bacteria and nutrients. This nutrient-rich water is pumped up from the fish tank to water and fertilize the plants. The plants clean the water and the water is sent back into the fish tank, completing the self-cleaning, closed-loop system.


Back to the Roots started their Kickstarter campaign today, and they are looking to raise $100,000 by Dec. 15 to manufacture the aquaponic garden in the most sustainable manner. Anyone who wants to support Back to the Roots and this project can pledge as little as $1, and if the entire $100,000 gets funded, that pledge becomes an actual donation.


For those who donate $10 or more there are perks that come along with it, from getting your photo on a mural of supporters at their farm that is being created ($10 donation) all the way up to the founders of Back to the Roots, Alejandro and Nikhil, hosting an educational seminar in your community ($10,000 donation).


For more information about the aquaponics garden and details on the fundraising campaign, see the Home Aquaponics Kit: Self-Cleaning Fish Tank That Grows Food page on Kickstarter.


I’d love for this project to get fully funded because I really want one of these gardens in my kitchen. Would you want an aquaponics garden in your kitchen?


Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Help kickstart a table-top aquaponic garden venture
Back to the Roots, the sustainable startup that created the Easy-to-Grow Mushroom Garden that grows mushrooms in recycled coffee grounds, is asking the public t