Monday, October 20, 2008

Day 101 / Day 37 - Salad, anyone?

Guess what I had for lunch yesterday?

I following the instructions in the manual and harvested about 1/3 of the leaves in the Aerogarden. I got the whopping harvest you see above. After I was done, the Aerogarden looked like this: 

As luck would have it, I have a three-set bottle of salad dressing which I bought at BJ's a long time ago and never opened. It was a no-brainer which one I'd choose first: the Catalina (which I think is a fancy way to say "French" in Kraft language). 
I didn't have things like croutons or bacon bits or onions or peppers in the fridge. And you know what my tomato situation is. But I did have a block of cheese, which I grated on top of the dressing.

I have to admit, it was a little surreal eating a lunch that had only minutes earlier been a houseplant. I pictured myself roaming around the house and nibbling on my gardenia plant and my African violets and my money tree plant, making mooing sounds. But no, this was most certainly lettuce, and fresh lettuce at that, with no critters, dirt, pesticides, or 3/4 of a head to throw away. I'm looking forward to many more meals with my Aerogarden lettuce. 

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Day 100 / Day 36 - Welcome to the Jungle

How time flies. It's been almost two weeks since I last posted an update. And boy, have things changed.

First of all, the lettuce is growing very, very nicely and is about ready for harvest. What I find really cool is that the lettuce doesn't grow in a head of lettuce, but as separate leaves. How they managed to figure out how to do this boggles my mind. It's as if they figured out how to grow corn one kernel at a time or growing potatoes in fry form (I'm sure they're working on it).

Feeling somewhat silly, I made like a bunny and took a little bite out of one of the leaves, just to make sure it was lettuce. It sure was.

So for the next post, I'll be reviewing the manual to make sure I know the correct way to harvest the lettuce leaves.

It's day 100 of the tomatoes. They're still underperforming, but I still got my eye on the big three. The plant doesn't look the worse for wear since it toppled over, although these three guys are still the only tomatoes on the whole plant. So amongst two "red heirloom" plants, there are a ton of leaves, but still only three tomatoes growing.

As you can see, they're a little bigger, but I'm still waiting for them to turn red. If they don't turn red by the next posting, I'll may need to start telling embarrassing stories about them.

The "golden harvest" plant surprised me. All of a sudden, it's got quite a number of tomatoes. These are the ones that'll turn yellow when they grow up. I admit, it's fun looking playing "treasure hunt" trying to find the little tomatoes and teeny weeny tomatoes growing. See how many you can count in this picture.

The herbs are growing well too. Everyone's up except for the second sage plant, which I'm about to give up on. As you can see, the other sage plant is more than making up for it.

Since it is called the "holiday herb kit", I am looking forward to using it to make a turkey come Thanksgiving time. Let's hope it grows enough in that time.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Day 88 / Day 24 - The long awaited update

Well, first the good news. Here are those itty bitty tomatoes all growed up.

And now the bad news. After all these weeks, these are the ONLY tomatoes growing on all three plants. The plants have gotten huge, but even after doing the "pollination", the pruning, and keeping the unit in a room at just the right temperature as the manual suggest, it looks increasingly obvious that only these three little guys are going to see the light of day.

Unfortunately, it seems like this is not uncommon. When I look at the reviews of the Tomato Aerogarden on Amazon, it looks like this happens quite a lot. So as thrilled as I've been with the herb Aerogardens, my tomato experience has been less than stellar.

Worse, when I checked yesterday morning, the plant with the three tomatoes had toppled over and was lying helplessly on the unit like that woman in the "I've fallen and I can't get up" commercial. The good news is, it doesn't look like the plant snapped, so I placed it back into the unit and tied it up with some Aerogarden Soft-Ties for plants (the manual says you can also use ribbon, velcro, or, ahem, old stockings...but I didn't happen to have any of those handy).

So the plan now is to hopefully salvage those three tomatoes and then try again.

On a much happier note, the lettuce is still growing like wildfire. Just a few days ago there was enough leaves to make a salad for a Barbie, but now there's enough for a family of Care Bears.

The herbs on the top shelf are doing okay too. It looks like one of the Sage pods is never going to grow, but ironically the other sage plant is doing phenomenally. Everything else has sprouted and the domes are off.