O.K., tell me I'm overreacting to the fresh spinach scare or that I'm just looking for an excuse to buy a new culinary toy, but I have just placed an order for an AeroGarden.
Some months ago I'd torn out a page from a Frontgate mail order catalog about this interesting looking gizmo. You use aeroponics, which is their term for hydroponics (the science of growing plants in liquid mineral solutions) to grow a little garden inside what looks like a space-age tabletop planter. The device makes sure the plants get the perfect amount of water, light, oxygen and nutritents.
I kept looking at it and thinking it would be fun to grow herbs during the winter. Then I saw one in action at the Cook Street cooking school in Denver and got even more interested in the idea. The chef there said they loved the herbs they were growing right on their kitchen counter top.
When the story about bagged spinach being tainted with E. coil broke last week, I decided to place my order, but instead of zeroing in on herbs I decided to get the salad greens kit. Once I get the garden set up in three weeks I should be harvesting. They say I will be able to continue harvesting for 4 to 6 months.
It costs $149 for the complete set: the AeroGarden and a choice of salad greens, herbs, cherry tomatoes or chile peppers. Additional seed kits cost $19.50 each.
You can view a video about the garden at www.frontgate.com. Enter 11896 in the product search area.