Getting your kids to eat vegetables can be rather impossible sometimes- for some anyway. I appear to have a rather strange toddler who would choose veg and salad over sweets and chips any day; can’t complain really though! I eat loads of fruit and vegetables so this helps massively- your kids like to eat what you eat- but I also think that having an allotment, seeing everything grow from scratch and having Grandad pop in every week with bags and bags of fresh produce from said allotment helps massively in encouraging Violet to eat these kinds of things. Obviously not everyone has an allotment or has the room to grow their own fruit and veg in their gardens at home though, and this is exactly why I thought that the GroCycle GroKids pack sounded like an amazing idea and I just had to try it out!
The GroCycle Grokids pack is a full kit which enables you and your little ones to grow your own Oyster Mushrooms on your kitchen windowsill! The grow kit contains the coffee waste of 100 cups of coffee which is the food to help your mushrooms grow- how amazing is that?! The booklet included has full instructions on how to get started, fun facts and puzzles and a recipe for you to try with the pack of dried mushrooms which are enclosed for you to get cooking straight away.
Violet was happy enough to do the colouring and puzzles within the booklet but as she’s only two, she had no idea why I was trying to encourage her to look in ‘a bag of mud’ as she put it LOL, so I got to the growing on my own! First I had to cut out the panel on the front of the box, cut a cross in the front of the plastic bag and then leave it to soak in a bowl of water overnight. As you can see by the photo I had to weigh it down as it was floating around at the top.
The next day I took the bag out of the water, left it for a few minutes to drain and then returned it to the box and stood it on our kitchen windowsill. Now for the waiting. I have no patience at all and Violet’s is even worse- they didn’t automatically shoot out as she’d expected so apart from the twice daily water spray they needed, the mushrooms were forgotten about.
You don’t really need much patience for this grow kit though! Every morning it became a daily thing to check on the mushrooms and how well they had grown overnight. Violet was amazed to see the changes everyday and after a few days you could see the growth taking place. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll have seen by day 7 the mushrooms had started to stage a takeover!
After day 7 it all got a bit crazy! Everytime we went into the kitchen they had grown even more. There seemed to be more mushrooms coming and they were just getting bigger and bigger. After a few days they were massive and it looked like the box was about to topple over- that was it- time to harvest! Violet couldn’t wait to eat some and we ended up using them all pretty quickly by putting them into all our meals- her favourite was definitely the bolognese we made with them.
Hang on though, that’s not the end, as once you’ve harvested your first crop, you can leave the kit for 2 weeks and then soak the bag overnight and start again for another mushroom load! Have a look on their Facebook and Twitter and you can see how others have been getting on with their packs!
You can now purchase a GroKids pack from the GroCycle website here. They are £19 each which in all honesty I feel is a bit on the expensive side for my little one as she is only two and didn’t really understand it, although she did enjoy watching them grow. However for older children (and adults- I loved it!) I feel that this is definitely worth the money as they can learn so much from it and get around 2-3 harvests from the kit.
Mother Hermit xx