Sunday, May 4, 2014

Homegrown Collective Review - April 2014

I've been hearing a lot lately about a subscription box called Homegrown Collective, so a few weeks ago I decided to order one. Here's a bit about the box:

What: Each Homegrown Collective Greenbox contains everything you need to make that month's DIY projects
When: Boxes ship toward the end of every month
Cost: $39/mo+$9 shipping. As low as $35.75/mo with a 12-month plan. 6- and 12-month plans have free shipping.
Fun Fact: Homegrown Collective encourages self-sufficient and sustainable lifestyles, so everything in each box is completely organic and can be done using things you can find around your own home!

I found a Facebook promo for 25% off the first box, so I ordered one just to see what the hype was about. It arrived a couple of days ago and it was heavy! No wonder shipping cost $9. 

Inside the box was packed with LOTS of crinkled paper strips. I guess you gotta protect the glass bottles somehow. They weren't kidding when they said that they provide you with everything you need - they even sent me 5 garlic bulbs! (Perfect, because I was just about to run out!)

This month's theme is all about fermentation. Being a science major, I kind of nerd out on this kind of stuff so of course I'm excited about this box! In my college microbial ecology lab we made wine out of grapes, cantaloupes, and watermelons, and this brings back all those great geeky memories.

The most important part of fermentation is to create an anaerobic (no oxygen) environment. That will be done using this mason jar with an air lock (that crazy contraption in the picture below) to allow the oxygen to escape while keeping in the fermentation gases. The airlock also creates a physical barrier to the outer environment so that it isn't necessary to submerge the ingredients in a brine (as in "pickling"). Ok that's as nerdy as I'm gonna get. I could go on forever but then nobody would stay awake to finish reading this post.

 This month we're creating HOMEMADE chipotle ketchup and spicy mustard using our fermentation skills.

Info sheets and homemade ketchup & mustard recipes

As I mentioned, the box contained all the necessary ingredients to make the ketchup and mustard (including the storage jars for the finished product). Clockwise from top: Roma tomato powder, mustard seeds, apple cider vinegar, garlic, dried chipotles, sea salt, and whey concentrate. Except for the tomato powder, mustard seeds, and chipotles, all the ingredients will be used in both recipes.

Everything you need to make your very own ketchup and mustard!

Both recipes call for a 3-day fermentation period so I wasn't able to start this since I'm leaving for my trip tomorrow, but I'll be sure to update once I get a chance to try it! Happy fermenting! Did you get a Homegrown Collective Greenbox this month? What do you think about food fermentation?

Click here to see how this project turned out!


  1. Woohoo! I love this box so much! My husband said the mustard was amazing and then he went to the store and got himself bratwurst and sauerkraut so he could use it! That means he really did like it :D I hate mustard so I'm not trying it. Once everything is washed up, I'm making ketchup but Im not going to make it spicy. Also, if you make the recipe using all the mustard seeds, it makes a LOT more than will fit into the jar. I needed a back up. Have fun!

    1. Ooh thanks for the heads up. I'm probably gonna try making one of them next week. I'd love to hear how your ketchup turns out!