I have been quarantined with my parents in their apartment since last year – which means that I’ve ditched my hobbies left and right just to stay healthy. I bought roller skates (lasted a day), broke all my old violins (the strings broke while tuning, so for less than a day), blasted wet clay with a potter’s wheel all over my basement, only to beat me in an hour to give, and, like, much, much more. Do you sense a topic here? I gave up all of these things in a flash, except for one new hobby: gardening.
Specifically, the plants in my Lettuce Grow Farmstand, an aesthetic hydroponic (i.e. the process of growing plants without soil) vertical garden planter that produces more lettuce, peppers, pumpkins, and herbs than my family can eat themselves.
I started gardening last year, using traditional methods like square meter gardening and planting tomato plants from seeds in random areas in my garden. While it may seem easy to grow things in soil, reader: it is not. Turns out I don’t have the patience for traditional gardening methods. Buying dirt (and yes, you actually need to buy square foot compost and soil for gardening) is both expensive and a chore. Besides, standing in the hot sun and pouring a box every day was not for me. Not to mention anything that I seemed to grow halfway through was quickly destroyed by rabbits. Sounds cute, feels bad.
The court estate
So when I saw Skinfluencerin Charlotte Palermino showing off some lettuce she had grown in a cool, vertical hydroponic planter, I knew I needed one ASAP.
Come in: the lettuce growing farm. It’s a vertical garden where you can hydroponically grow up to 36 different plants without soil and with the smallest possible square footage. They use 95 percent less water, they donate 1 in 10 products sold and the stand itself is made of plastic bound in the ocean. It’s a legitimate gardening powerhouse. And did I mention that it’s really chic too?
You choose how many plants you want to grow (the modular system lets you add them at any time so you can always add more later), order seedlings from the website (believe me, you want to buy yours, not build yours) there germinating seedlings is such a waste of time) and the seedlings will just plop into their little holes. Fill up the base with water and add some nutrients and you are good to go!
In contrast to the daily watering of my garden tomatoes, the farm stand only needs to refill a little water every week. You’ll also need to do weekly maintenance by adding more nutrients, but that’s super easy as the instructions tell you exactly how much to add based on the number of plants you have.
Within a few weeks, I had my own salad. And not just salad – it’s really damn good salad. And herbs. And even a cute baby watermelon! Suddenly making a salad for lunch at home wasn’t depressing – it was boasting. Hello, I grew this.
The farm stall is also incredibly productive. I saw growth within two weeks! With my stupid garden, I had to wait all summer to get … a messed up tomato. The absolute efficiency of the farmstand can make you competitive in gardening too. For other plants, I’ll say, “No, I’ll keep this dead lemon tree here for three years instead of admitting defeat.” But at my farm stand, as soon as I see something wither, I think: “Move the eff out of the way, you are taking up space!” and go to his handy app (which I actually use enough that it didn’t automatically delete itself) to order more seedlings.
Yes, I’ve grown strawberries in New England all winter, NBD.
Did I mention I use it all year round too? Yes, I’ve been growing strawberries in New England all winter, NBD, thanks to its glow rings. These grow lights surround the farm stand for maximum grow light age, use minimal power, and are powerful enough to keep your crop growing year round. And unlike other growlights, these are not the blue-red growlights (not my style, TBH), but a nice, cool, bright white light. Fancy!
I’ve had the farmstand for less than a year and it has completely changed the way I eat. Fancy salads are now available almost anytime – I just have to go into the living room and choose what I want to eat. And after doing the “work” of growing my own vegetables, I really don’t want to eat (or pay for) store-bought stuff. I bring it up to everyone – that is, if they don’t see it in my zoom backgrounds and immediately ask for it first. If they were only making tabletop farm stands I would buy one for every holiday, birthday, and thank you. Grow lettuce, please LMK, if that changes in the future. Until then, I’ll be leading my best sad, happy desk-clad life.
- You will see results faster thanks to the pre-germinated seedlings.
- There is minimal maintenance and it’s very mandatory so no guesswork and hope for the best only to be disappointed two days later when the new fertilizer you thought you would try turns out to be a season of hard work.
- It’s pretty!
- The light rings are real like the best and brightest lights in our whole house?
- It’s really greener than the carbon footprint if I drive or have soil delivered and watered every day.
- Expensive to buy, although in the long run it is considerably cheaper than traditional gardening for even just one growing season.
- You can only grow 36 plants at a time, although I’m pretty sure I’ll be pulling the trigger this summer to get a second – it’s that good.
Buy other mini garden kits and seeds
Indoor Herb Garden Accessories for Mason Jar Kit
Complete seed collection
Ivy leaf farms
Wild pink banana
Indigenous Seed Initiative
Simpson lettuce with black seeds
I make shit grow
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