Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Weigh In: Do you Aerogarden?

So, I'm thinking about getting an Aerogarden.
Truly, I've been longing for one for a couple of years now.

Surprisingly, I have a relatively green thumb.
That might be an understatement.

You see...
I still have the "Get Well" plant my sis sent me for having my tonsils removed. (In 1992.) And, I have still have a plant that a co-worker found dumped in the lunchroom trash. (Rescued that one in 2003.) And, my Mom's plants...survived her - so far by 10 years.

Given that, I have resisted buying a "fancy-pants machine" to grow herbs.
I tried the Chia herb garden. It grew ok. (To be honest, the growth was fairly lame.)

Every year I have at least a few pots of different varieties of spearmint.
Mojito, anyone?

I tried the Chia-style dried herb pots at Trader Joe's. The basil on that one turned out VERY nice. I had a hard time eating all that basil and I started drying it. (Then came the Winter of my discontent.)

Here's the rub.
I live in Chicago.
And, I just can't keep the herbage growing in the winter.

I've been looking at buying a grow light. (And, hoping that the neighborhood cops don't get suspicious.) But, if I'm going to go through the trouble of setting up a grow light, I feel like I might at well just buy the Aerogarden. Afterall, those varieties of plants have been tested to grown under those specific conditions. Maybe I'm ready for a turn-key solution.

I've been comparing the various sized machines over at the Aerogarden Store. And, while admiring the seed options, I noticed that they have a Full-sized Ruby Heirloom Tomato option. Hmm. Full-sized?

So, I have some questions.
If you have an Aerogarden or Prepara Powerplant:
Are you happy with your model?
Do you wish you purchased a different model?
Which herbs have you purchased?
How has the growth been?
How long have the herb pods lasted?
How fresh did the herbs/veggies taste?
Have you tried any "full-sized" veggies?
How "full-sized" were they?
Have you had to buy another bulb yet?

Whether you are please with your Aerogarden or displeased, what should I know before buying one? Let's hear from you.

I really can't stand paying $3 for a handful of limp pre-packaged herbs at the grocery store each time I want some fresh basil or chives. I'm inching closer to the Aerogarden each day. Should I full-sprint?

Meanwhile, I'll be reading the Aerogarden Chronicles over at Eat to Blog. Pin It


The Cutting Edge of Ordinary said...

I don't have an Aerogarden, but I just wanted to make one comment on what I see as a potential drawback...I use a lot of herbs when I cook. A lot. I could wipe out that entire garden in one weekend. So production wise, it would never work for me. If it was 4 times bigger than it is, then I think it could keep up with my herb usage, but who wants a big honking Aergarden that is that big??? Just a thought.

Dana @ Cooking At Cafe D said...

I hear ya, Lisa. Apparently, they come in different sizes - 3 pod, 6 and 7. So, you can get a smaller one to save on counterspace.

And, I suppose if you wanted, you could choose to make all 3 the same herb. But, yeah, I guess I'd like to know if you ends it's little life cycle if you harvest all the leaves at once.

Good points.

Jules said...

You have a "relatively green thumb" ... and I have black digits. I've killed ivy. I'm so not kidding.

My mother has orchids that she inherited from my grandparents. My sister has grown *ahem* plants from seed. My father has his vineyard.

Then again, I have a coffee bean plant from '94. (I guess it thrives on neglect.) For herbage, I have the option of visiting my folks' gardens, and I do so frequently.

Lisa makes a very good point - perhaps you should grow the "occasionally used" herbs (sage, chives) in your Aerogarden so ya' don't wipe it out with a cooking frenzy weekend.

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