Monday, April 14, 2008

AeroGarden Review

Olivia and I won two Aerogardens in PeTA's Cooking with Kid's Contest (click to see the winning cookie!) which included two seed kits: Italian herb (mint, Italian basil, dill, thyme, parsley, purple basil, chives) and cherry tomato.
Here's a current photo of the herbs, and as you can see it's raging ~ I can barely keep up! In fact, I need to harvest the dill and dry or freeze more basil. If you like to cook with fresh herbs, you would love an AeroGarden. You don't need to be a gardener to be successful, and it's the absolute ultimate in organic, fresh & local!

Here's some dried Italian and purple basil:
1. Cut the stem. Dip the herbs quickly in a bowl of cool water and shake off the excess water. Pat the herbs dry.
2. Cut several holes in a small paper bag. Place the herbs inside, and secure the opening of the bag and the herbs with a string.
3. Hang it upside down for a couple days until dry. The bag protects the herbs from sunlight and keeps it clean.
4. Store in an airtight container ~ an old sea salt container is perfect.

And yes, we've had our share of pesto! And there's quite a reserve in the freezer as well, so don't be surprised to see pesto on baguettes, pasta, pizza, polenta ~ well you get the picture.
Art threw some basil in the risotto last night and the flavor was very apparent and special. It's a fun charge to clip some herbs for a recipe.

As nice as all the herbs are, what I was really looking forward to was fresh tomatoes!!!!!

But that was not to be. I pulled the plug on my "experimental" tomato plants recently because they grew into the grow lamps rapidly, singeing the leaves, making me trim them back buds and all only to do it all over again. Please understand that these were NOT the original Aerogarden seed pods. The original seedlings were plucked out by my mis-guided 2 year-old gardener. Not wanting to waste the nutrients or opportunity to have fresh winter tomatoes, I started again & "cheated" with regular cherry tomato seeds from a packet. Experiment failed.

The AeroGarden fueled my desire to move away from processed foods, away from food traveling great distances, and away from farming chemicals. To become a little more self-sufficient -- though that could never be, as my seed experiment illustrated. You need their seed kits, and they aren't cheap. ($19.95) But I must admit, the luxury of having fresh tomatoes in the middle of winter would be awesome. I'd like to try them again as well as the strawberry plants.
Why is it that organic produce gets the sticker?


Candice said...

Wow! the herbs look fantastic!!! Great job. When I move I am going to start my herbs, i am very excited. I move on May 1st. Yay!

VeggieGirl said...

wow, how fun that you won those aerogardens!! looks like you're already putting them to great use :0)

Okra Mary said...

I'm glad you're having a good experience with the AeroGarden. I bought one and had some luck with the herb kit - the basil grew and the others sort of floundered. Then the two batches I tried after that died. Then the pump died - but the customer service was nice and they sent me another pump for free and a seed kit.

But then that kit didn't take! So, I packed it away and will drag it out when I'm willing to try again.

I'll be happy to track your garden's progress and see how it goes....I want to see someone try the strawberries!

Simple and Divine said...

Good Morning!! I just found your blog from Veggiegirl's and I'm SO glad that I did! I absolutely adore how you share your beautiful daughters with us along with the memories that you're building with them. So sweet =) All of the recipes/foods look SO delicious too!
Great Job! This is such a wonderful blog you have going here! <3 I'll be back to check it out LOTS :)

Have a wonderful Tuesday (to both you and your girls!)

madness rivera said...

That's so fantastic that you won the Peta contest(s)! And won the Aerogarden!! I've always wanted to try one, but I've had my suspicions. Can't wait to see more. And thanks for the lovely comment today.

Vegan_Noodle said...

What a cool prize!! Fresh herbs from your own home are always the best... and handy too!

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Congratulations! I can sure see why you won. Banana oatmeal chocolate cookies?! Those three ingredients are my three FAVORITE foods (along with peanut butter and raspberries). I'm copying the recipe and will be making these FOR SURE!

Urban Vegan said...

I have been coveting an aerogarden, if only for the fresh herbs. But alas, I had to come to terms with the fact that I simply don;t have the space for one (It was this or a juicer, I had to choose!)

I'll just have to vicariously enjoy yours. Hey--can you email me some basil overflow? ;)

insane scribbler said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Calimaryn said...

I am so putting the Aerogarden on my christmas wish list! It just looks so awesome. The thought of fresh home grown herbs in January just makes me happy.

DJ said...

I've heard a lot about aerogardens recently, and your post makes me long for my basil to pick up so I could make some fresh pesto!

Catherine said...

I can't wait for fresh, local basil to come in -- how I love pesto! Glad to hear the areogarden is producing!

P.S. I just finished posting pictures from my recent trip to Haiti -- come check 'em out, if you have a chance!

Anonymous said...

I have been thinking about the Aerogarden for a while now. I even subscribe to their newsletter. I'm so glad to read your post because that is exactly what will help me jump in.
I want fresh dill all year long!

Theresa said...

Holy moly those herbs are crazy!

In australian supermarkets, organic produce is sold wrapped in plastic on cardboard trays. The reasoning is to prevent contamination and mixing with non-organic, but it seems counterintuitive to add so much waste to organic fruit and vege.

Gnewvegan said...

I have always wondered if these worked. And I am glad to see that they do. I grow what herbs I can in the small space I have over the summer. As one reader said space can be limiting to have an aero garden and I do not have the space. :( I have also been contemplating a juicer. As one reader mentioned it was between the aero and the juicer..

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