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How Back to the Roots is Helping Children Garden and Grow

September 22, 2021

Growing a personal garden does more than just fill your plate. According to the Journal of Environmental Horticulture, it can also lessen stress levels and help promote mental wellbeing. Perhaps that’s why one in three American households plant seeds each season.  

But for the two out of three households that aren’t planting, the reason could be space constraints. Apartments, townhomes and other houses without yards make it nearly impossible to cultivate a garden. That’s where Back to the Roots’ indoor gardening kits come in.  

Founded by friends Alejandro Vélez and Nikhil Arora, Back to the Roots creates gardening kits with a mission to get the next generation growing – no green thumb or backyard needed. 

“Accessibility continues to be a hurdle. Many kids grow up without access to a backyard,” says Nikhil Arora, Back to the Roots co-founder. “And that was definitely an inspiration to start our business and build a garden brand that would let the next generation grow food anywhere.”  

“The first time we had success was growing pearl oyster mushrooms in college,” recalls Alejandro Vélez, co-founder of Back to the Roots. “We went from that mushroom kit to a whole line of gardening products, including grow kits, water gardens, seeds, soils, plant beds and more.” 

The company was founded in 2009 and joined The Home Depot as a diverse supplier just three years later. “We walked our founding product, the Mushroom Grow Kit, into a Home Depot store in 2012 and things just started to really take off,” says Nikhil. “Over the years, we’ve enjoyed the opportunity to work with The Home Depot and become a part of the family. We’ve collaborated on many Kids Workshops, Foundation events and virtual field trips, and were honored to receive an Innovation Award in 2019.”  

 Back to the Roots donates grow kits to underfunded schools through its #GrowOneGiveOne program. Students dive into hands-on, ready-to-grow products while teachers receive STEM curriculum to ensure gardening, nutrition and food become a part of every child’s education.  

To learn more about Home Depot’s suppliers, click here. To learn more about Back to the Roots, visit