By Paris Wolfe, Blogmaster, The Herb Society of America
They say insanity is when you continually try the same thing yet expect different results.
I am among the garden crazy. Every year I bring herb pots into my sun-deprived Northeast Ohio condo and will them to live through spring. Every year the thyme gets leggy and crisp. The rosemary drops its needles after the Christmas tree. This year I controlled my futile optimism and relocated a true survivalist, my bay tree.
Then, reality shifted. I flipped through the Sur la Table catalog and spied the AeroGarden. It looks like infomercial fodder so I was skeptical. I called Ben Gill, vice president of marketing for the product. Naturally, he was high on its potential. Personally, he has two; one grows flowers and the other Anaheim peppers. But, that little hydroponic tub with its full-spectrum LED lights is just screaming for herbs.
And, that’s why the company offers 40 different seed pods, 28 of them are herbs. A mix of seeds and nutrients, the pods nest in the AeroGarden – which comes in 12 models – and grow in temperate, nutrient-rich water.
With optimum nutrients and lighting, seeds sprout and grow faster than in traditional soil. A typical herb garden, says Gill, lasts about nine months. And so he recommends having two, starting the second one about four months into the life cycle of the first.
With a digital panel– and a WIFI option – growers control lighting and are reminded when to add water. Yup. There’s an app for that.
The AeroGarden arrived on the scene in 2006, but is gaining popularity in a time when cooking with herbs and knowing where they came from are important.
The kits are available online from the company – occasionally at discount prices – as well as from Amazon, Walmart, Target, and Costco.
I guess there’s a cure for winter insanity.