Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Grow your own

Somehow this has a different meaning than it did 30 years ago. Sigh. (Pause for a moment to mourn lost youth...) Okay back to reality. I've splurged and gotten a set of Aerogardens. If you haven't heard of them, they are a setup for hydroponic/aeroponic gardening. I'm growing assorted herbs in one, cherry tomatoes and jalapenos in another, and salad greens in the third one. It's been less than 48 hours since I "planted" and I already have 1" high lettuce plants. Many of the other seeds will take as long as two weeks to germinate. However it has been really fun to sit here and practically watch the lettuce grow -- the 1" plant this evening was a barely sprouted seed this morning. One advantage of the grow lights in this setup is that I can move a few of our more tropical houseplants, including a plumeria start I'm nursing, into my office to share in the bright full-spectrum lights. And maybe it's good for me, too, all that nice bright light when it gets dark about 4:30 p.m. Yes, I will admit that with the cost of the setup and the cost of seed pods, etc., it's not very cost-effective -- unless you consider that I'm getting organic produce as fresh as it comes. In addition, living near the waterfront means that my plants on the deck get very dusty and sometimes that "dust" is from the exhaust of container and cruise ships. Not terribly healthy, so that stuff (mostly sage and thyme) requires some significant washing.

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