Personal Aquaponics Garden on Kickstarter Makes Sustainable Home Gardening Mainstream

The home garden, which uses a self-cleaning fish tank to fertilize plants, combines a sleek design and ease of use to make aquaponics gardening accessible to all.

OAKLAND, Calif., Nov. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Homegrown food is in for a radical change, and so is keeping fish. Back to the Roots, an urban mushroom farm in California, is launching a new home aquaponics kit via Kickstarter on November 15th. The Aquaponics Garden is essentially a self-cleaning fish tank that also grows a range of fresh produce in a garden on top. The fish water fertilizes the plants, and in turn the plants clean the water for the fish. 


Back to the Roots aims to raise $100,000 on Kickstarter in order to produce the kit and make it the first product that allows people to grow food on the kitchen counter in a closed-loop system. For a $50 pledge, backers can be the first to receive the aquaponics kit when it is ready in late February 2013.

Other Kickstarter rewards for supporters include a permanent etching of the backer's name on the kits as a thank you, and a locally-sourced meal for 20 cooked by Back to the Roots. BTTR needs 2,000 pre-orders to fund the initial costs of production and meet minimum production quantities from its manufacturer.

The Back to the Roots Aquaponics Garden brings this new approach to households through a sleek design and space-efficient 3 gallon tank.  The seeds, pump, and pebbles are included. Just add water and fish (many common types work in the system!) - nature and the ecosystem take over from there.

Back to the Roots will be one of the few companies on Kickstarter that has a previous product and a passionate, strong following. The urban farm, founded by Alejandro Velez and Nikhil Arora during their last semester at UC Berkeley, has been totally bootstrapped and funded solely through sales and grants thus far.

Velez and Arora express their passion for the project in the closing of their Kickstarter video. "We believe this Aquaponics Garden has to be launched - it can inspire so many people, in so many different ways. We're confident that if you help us do it, we can make this a success and create a movement around it. There's nothing more important right now than taking back our food.... taking back our health."

Foodies, gardeners, families, teachers, or anyone else interested can be one of the first people to have a Back to the Roots Aquaponics Garden by visiting the Kickstarter page.  

About Back to the Roots

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

Media Contact:

Megan Yarnall Back to the Roots, 215-962-9881,

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SOURCE Back to the Roots



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