Last Mother’s Day my husband upped the ante on the traditional bouquet for his mom. He bought her something more original and useful, a living gift that would keep on giving. What was it?
- a) robotic socks that darn themselves
- b) an edible, continuously growing plant
- c) crickets on a chocolate mill in a hamster cage
- d) a honeycomb hat with bees on it
Okay, not (d), because his mom is not a beekeeper. And (a) would be awesome if it existed—please let me know when that technology becomes available. He got her a Click & Grow Smart Garden 9 Indoor Gardening Kit. I know—nice catchy name…NOT. But his mom loves it, uses it, eats its harvest, and is having a lot of fun with it.
Don’t need to be a gardener!
Food just pops up and keeps growing without any effort—herbs, salad, greens, flowers, and more! You can grow nine plants of your choice at a time. Choose from their inventory of 50 plant pods. Or buy pods with no seeds and use your own. After the plants grow up and you eat them you can order more pods and place them in the same unit.
No tools, machinery, irrigation…
Did I water it enough? Too much? This self-contained system provides everything your plants need—nutrients, pH balancing, oxygen and humidity. Don’t you worry ’bout a thing…
Is it 20 below zero in Minnesota? 100 degrees in Texas? Who cares! Your tomatoes are happily living in their luxury bubble indoors and are content all year round. They have everything they need and will thrive while you freeze and roast.
Can grow in your basement
Do your windows face a brick wall or your neighbor’s towering house? Do you live in a subterranean compound? Or in the North Pole? No matter! This garden uses LED lights with frequencies that are carefully adjusted for optimal plant growth; they’re getting everything they need in a controlled environment that has replaced the sun.
A little science: Photosynthesis is a process by which green plants use the sun’s energy to convert water and air (carbon monoxide) into food which helps them grow. The Smart Garden’s LED serves as a sun substitute, performing all the same functions. Interestingly, the sun produces mostly green, yellow, and orange light but red and blue—which are predominant in the LED—are best for photosynthesis. Blue frequencies are responsible for seedling growth. Red light affects stem growth, flowering, fruit and chlorophyll production. Darkness is also important—it allows plants to rest and triggers the flowering response. At night the lights in the unit go out so the plants can respirate, or release energy.
It’s a very sophisticated concept and super high tech! Read more about how plants use different light wavelengths.
Kids will learn to love greens
Research shows that kids are more likely to eat greens and other vegetables that they grow themselves. When they are part of the process, they take pride in the product and want to like it! This is borne out in numerous studies. A Cornell study in New York showed that salad consumption rose five-fold when the veggies came from a school garden. This Saint Louis University study showed that children who grow up eating produce fresh from a garden prefer the taste of fruits and vegetables to other foods. And this study, conducted jointly by eight universities, measured the intake of fruits and vegetables of college students. Those who gardened as kids ate more. And they had a special word for it: Get Fruved. That means get your fruits and veggies!
It costs $5 annually in electricity to power this unit, according to Business Insider. They wrote up a really cool article on how the unit works so check it out.
Good hearty soil
There is no crap in the soil–no GMOS, herbicides, or pesticides. Because there doesn’t need to be any. Soil is specially formulated by NASA technology to release critical nutrients at just the right time in the plant’s life cycle. Pretty cool, eh?
Here in Texas we have the craziest pests: stink bugs which inject tomatoes with their saliva, cut worms that burrow into strawberries, hornworm caterpillars which eviscerate tomato plants, cucumber beetles which have a bacteria that soaks into the stems and kills plants, plus the usual deer, squirrels, and other small furry things, which would be cute if they weren’t ruining your garden. My husband once saw a happy squirrel munching on a green tomato like an apple. Too many freeloaders and bullies!!
Fun to watch.
This is definitely more fun then watching your toenails grow. And don’t underestimate the good juju of having a real live delicious garden prosper before your eyes. It’ll make you feel like a pro!
More nutritious than store bought?
Tests from this company’s lab show that Smart Garden produce contains 600% more vitamins than store bought samples. It is possible (though I need to see those tests) that you are getting the freshest, most vitamin-rich produce available.
What’s not to love?
This is a dream for city people who have longed for a garden, lazy people who hate gardening but want fresh food, those who live in extreme climates, people who want a fun new project, and everyone in between.
What fun to set it on the counter and grab herbs as needed while cooking!
It’s also an awesome gift. I am getting it for my husband for Father’s Day.
From the reviews it sounds as if Customer Service is on the ball and will help you out if you get stuck or if something doesn’t function properly. Want tips or tricks or more info? Check out the company’s resources page.
Want to start with a smaller investment? Get the smaller one for half the price here.
More indoor gardening ideas?
How about this Urban Leaf project for kids that combines gardening with art?
Here are a bunch of fun indoor gardening kits—all require some maintenance.
If you have lots of space and you’re really committed, consider this 10-foot tall spherical indoor garden, called Growroom. You could feed the neighborhood!
I’d love to hear about your experiences, so please post and let me know how these worked for you!
Note: Good Food Fighter is not a third party affiliate for Click and Grow (or any other company) and receives no direct financial benefit or kickback for providing this recommendation.