Sunday, February 10, 2008

The AeroGarden...Is It Worth the Price?

Week six

The AeroGarden is a self-contained gardening system designed to grow a variety of produce and/or flowers on your kitchen counter.

The system is water-based so the kitchen will stay clean.

The AreoGarden sells for $159.00 plus tax and the seed kit is $55.00 plus tax. The kit I am growing contains seven herbs plus nutrients. At week six I began harvesting herbs. I am enjoying all seven herbs including the fresh dill, cilantro, parsley, mint, both basils and the chives on a daily basis. The only complaint I have is that the chives--though tall and tasty are about the thickness of a blade of grass. The rest of the herbs are backyard worthy--the dill being even hardier than I grew in last summer's garden.

The trip to the grocery store, easy set up and fresh herbs at your fingertips. A bonus: the bright grow lights may even be a help for people with SAD (seasonal affective disorder).

From my checking on various message boards and blogs most consumers have been happy with the product. When there have been problems respondents said that the AreoGarden customer service was very responsive. They even replaced seed pods that were not doing well for no questions asked. I am looking forward to using AreoGarden's seed starter kit to start the seeds for my summer garden indoors. Note: The seed starter kit does contain dirt pods for planting the seeds.

I will be testing both the AreoGarden and peat pots for starting seeds for my 2008 summer garden to see which is easier and better. I will report the results on my Savvy Consumer blog and at

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

To buy or not to buy

Silicon Muffin Cups versus Muffin Tins...Vote for your favorite and tell why.

Silicon is not just in the valley
. In the last few years cookware stores have been pushing silicon muffin cups and tins. What do you think? Please add your findings. I tested a recipe for bacon cornbread muffins in both silicon and metal. I found the taste of the muffins cooked in each to be similar but the color of the muffins cooked in the silicon muffin cups to be very pale. I sprayed both muffin cups with Pam and discovered the removal and clean up of the silicon muffin tins to be much easier. From surveys of other consumers--the majority of voters picked metal over silicon for baking nine out of ten times--or a whooping 90% of the time.
Complaints ranged from the silicon being "too wobbly," "too pale," "hard to clean" and just plain awful. Some consumers suggest other uses including making ice cream molds.