Save the planet (and your wallet) with the OGarden.

By Jenny Krane

Growing your own food is a great way to save money on produce, eliminate waste, and be sure that your fruits, veggies, and herbs are clear of pesticides and herbicides. Although there are plenty of perks to being your own food source, there is one drawback—the time. When growing the traditional way, you need to plant, fertilize, water, weed, and harvest on your own. For the busier gardener, indoor hydroponic gardens are just the thing to keep crops growing in a speedy fashion.

Hydroponic gardening has often been called the future of gardening and farming. By growing indoors, you avoid the threat of unexpected weather damage, insects, and other pests. The OGarden Smart has taken this concept to a whole new level, and this Kickstarter success will be officially available in May of this year.

OGarden indoor garden unit with natural wood doors, a white base and wheel-like top that holds edible plants
Image courtesy of OGarden

OGarden Smart is an indoor gardening system about the size of a curio cabinet that lets you grow up to 90 (yes, 90!) types of seeds. As a huge bonus, it isn’t an industrial-looking eyesore in your kitchen. Other indoor hydroponic systems that blend into your home are typically tabletop sized and only have four to ten spots for plants, which isn't a whole lot.

Close-up of edible plants growing in top wheel and LED cylinder at center of the wheel
Image courtesy of OGarden

Not only is the system built for all-season indoor gardening, but it's completely self-watering (because let's be honest, we all forget to water our plants here and there). To conserve energy, the automatic LED lights automatically turn on and off to match your plants' needs.

So, what do you grow the seeds in? The company provides that, too. Their seed cups, which are made with organic soil and fertilizer, are made to sprout non-GMO seeds. The soil and fertilizer are held inside a biodegradable membrane which has a hole in the top for you to place seeds into. The seed cups are not reusable, but you can throw them into your compost pile when you're done.

Person loading seed cups into a white plastic segment that fits into the top wheel
Image courtesy of OGarden

The price tag may look scary at first, but when you do the math you actually may be saving money (plus you’ll know you’re helping the environment, which is priceless, right?). At your local grocery store, you’re paying around $3.50 for a bag of organic green kale. With the OGarden, you’re paying about $0.45 to grow your own organic kale for multiple harvests. And here's the kicker: No waste. Throughout the year, the OGarden is also less expensive than many Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares.

Anyone can be an indoor gardener and grow their own food, and this futuristic device only makes it easier. The compact size makes it simple to place against a wall out of the way, and the streamlined design won’t ruin the décor (you can choose a white or black unit with natural wood cabinet doors). If you’re lacking free time but want to grow your own food, the OGarden may be worth a try.


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