Housewares Design Awards

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2007 Best in Category: Food Preparation Electrics

AeroGrow International, Inc.

The Aero Garden

Housewares design isn’t exactly rocket science.

Well, maybe it is, at least in the case of the AeroGarden by Boulder, CO-based AeroGrow International.

NASA-proven science is at the root of this self-contained indoor kitchen garden appliance, which uses aeroponic technology whereby plants are grown in air instead of soil or water.

It’s the same soil-less growing technique showcased at Disney World’s Epcot Center in a Future World exhibit called, “The Land,” a two-acre greenhouse that produces more than 20,000 pounds of vegetables and herbs annually.

How does aeroponics work? Roots are suspended in air inside a 100% humid, oxygen-rich environment; then they are bathed in a constant rainfall of organic nutrients. The result: vegetables can grow anywhere inside the home up to five times faster than in dirt.

Perhaps the best thing about the design of the AeroGarden, according to the company, is that you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to appreciate it.

Like the marketing of today’s advanced air cleaners, science gives the AeroGrow credibility. But the company’s primary marketing message to consumers isn’t bogged down in techno-speak.?

Aimed at consumers whose thumbs more than likely are nowhere near green on the color spectrum, the AeroGrow message is more about the lifestyle benefits of an easy-to-use, self-feeding and self-watering indoor garden that can save consumers money by allowing them to grow vegetables year-round, faster and possibly healthier than conventional outdoor methods. Even seasoned home gardeners will appreciate the AeroGarden’s convenience after the first frost, according to the company.

These attributes helped the AeroGarden to take the 2007 Housewares Design Award in Food Preparation Electrics.

About the size of a countertop oven, the AeroGarden features a garden base over which a domed top is suspended. The dome features built-in daylight spectrum lights (natural sunlight is not needed). The unit assembles in about 10 minutes, and with just a bit of prep— place pre-seeded pods, water and a time-release nutrient tablet into the base— the AeroGarden does the rest.?

A microprocessor automatically adjusts the lights and the nutrient delivery cycles for specific plant types. Consumers are alerted if water and nutrients are running low. In many cases, seeds will germinate in about a day, and some vegetables will be ripe in two and half weeks.

AeroGrow offers kits of pre-seeded pods and nutrient tablets for several vegetables and flowers, including salad greens, cherry tomatoes, herbs, chili peppers, strawberries and grandiflora petunias.

AeroGrow’s marketing program underscores the culinary application of the AeroGarden by showcasing it as a handy sidekick of professional and home chefs.

The AeroGarden is priced to retail for $149.99. The seed kits retail for $14.95.

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