The Home Aquaponics Garden Kickstarter project by Back to the Roots, an urban mushroom farm, crowdsourced over $125,000 in two weeks with over 2,000 backers. The project kicked off with a bang on November 15th, raising over $20,000 on the first day.
While there have been similar projects on Kickstarter, the Aquaponics Garden is the only such home aquaponics kit. It is one of the highest grossing food projects of its type thus far, and though Back to the Roots has reached its original goal of $100,000, the company is now pushing to raise $200,000 so that more people can have the Aquaponics Garden and prices can be kept low.
The Aquaponics Garden is essentially a self-cleaning fish tank that grows food in an above garden. The fish waste water is pumped up with a low-watt pump, and fertilizes the plants. The plants then clean the water for this fish, and the water flows back down into the three gallon fish tank.
While aquaponics is an ancient technology that has been used for centuries, the Back to the Roots co-founders wanted to make it accessible to all with a sleek, modern counter-top design that made it possible for anyone to grow their own food.
“It’s been an incredible last 2 weeks seeing the excitement and buzz buildup around the product – we’re excited to keep on pushing hard these remaining days to expose as many people as possible to aquaponics and grow this movement of making food personal again” said co-founder Nikhil Arora.
Since the project is now fully funded, the Aquaponics Garden will go into production in late winter/early spring. Backers can expect to see their kits around that time, and see the rest of their rewards before Christmas.
The idea of a minimalist, countertop, food product isn’t the first from the Back to the Roots team of Arora and Alejandro Velez. They started the company with their Grow-Your-Own Mushroom Garden, from which families and foodies can grow over one pound of oyster mushrooms from recycled coffee grounds – right in their own kitchen.
Back to the Roots is an Oakland, California based urban farming company that manufactures grow-your-own oyster mushroom kits with soil made from recycled coffee grounds. The company was founded in 2009 by two Berkeley soon-to-be graduates, and was off the ground with their first order from Berkeley Whole Foods Market. Back to the Roots Grow-Your-Own Mushroom Garden allows anyone to grow fresh mushrooms and fresh food on their kitchen counter in just ten days. To date, they’ve diverted over 1 million pounds of coffee waste from the landfill and reached over 10,000 kids with the grow-your-own mushroom garden and sustainability curriculum. To see the kit and learn more about how to make a difference, visit www.backtotheroots.com.