I'm all for children getting an appreciation for gardening and nature, but hang on...is this really nature or is it "The Jetson's Gardening Kit". I first saw an ad for the "Aerogarden" on the back of a gardening magazine I picked up at the local grocery store. I wasn't too interested, considering that the entire catalog was irrelevant to northern gardening sensibilities.
Now I see a website (www.funplaydates.com) recommending these $150 US units to teach your child about indoor gardening:
"It is basically a self-contained unit with a computer that is automatic - it lets you know when the plants need water or nutrients - and the plants grow in the water, not dirt. When you lift the flap in the front, the roots are clearly visible. Plus there are no bugs! That’s the part I like. And of course, no dirt (that was worth mentioning twice). There’s even an automatic light so you never have to worry if the plants are getting enough sunlight. You really just have to stay on top of when the water level gets low (ours gets pretty thirsty), but there’s a red light that comes on to notify you. No more finger in the ol’ pot trick.
The system has an area on top that allows you to put seed pods in. The seed kits are sold separately and they run about 20 dollars a pop. Each seed kit contains 7 pods and they are sold in different categories or bundles such as italian herbs, petunias, strawberries, etc... "
(1) Recent medical research finds that kids have TOO LITTLE dirt in their lives, leading to things like asthma and allergies.
(2) Why go outside when you can play videogames and work your indoor patch of earth? Oops, I mean, your "artificially regulated pool of nutrients."
(3) Introduce your child to the people with the "giant aerogarden", otherwise known as the neighbourhood marijuana farm. I'm sure they have lots to share about "high yield growing methods".
(4) While I do have grow-lights in my own basement, I wonder about the "green sense" in using electricity to turn on a red warning light telling to water your plants. I see they're expanding into Aerogarden "wall gardens" too. Wow, more eco-friendliness. No, there is no mention of being "carbon-neutral" on their site.
(5) Pushing buttons on your aerogarden and prevention of childhood obesity...no, no relationship here.
pesticide-free crops for space travel."
to introduce into the confined environments of space living."