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Company brings edible garden to your home

September 22, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
If you don't have a green thumb but love the idea of a garden, there's an easy solution. There's a company that will bring the garden to you, and there's no digging or watering required.The Irwins wanted to be able to get fresh lettuce from their back yard but claim skills are missing in the garden department.

"I've got tons of property, so it's not a space thing, it's the fact that I don't have a green thumb," said Sirena Irwin of Mount Washington.

Environmental scientist Lucas Brower started a company that brings the garden to you, as he heard many saying similar things.

"I'd like to grow some food, but I don't have the space, or I'm not as strong as I used to be and I can't do the back-breaking work," Brower said.

His company, Home Grow Micro Farms, brings healthy growing plants in manageable containers, each with a different type of food, like lettuce, tomatoes and beets.

"The menu varies every single month," Brower said.

One of the big bonuses to this program is the self-watering system because garden experts say the number one thing new gardeners do is drown their plants.

"I've killed a lot of plants in my lifetime, and I think the killing needs to stop," Irwin said.

Brower hooks up a sub irrigation system that keeps plants uniformly moist without any help from anyone. There's also a protective cover that dramatically reduces evaporation and helps keep pests out.

"I can use one side for my drip line, which will go to supply constant water to the boxes when they need it, and then the other side for their hose," Brower said.

Brower replaces the boxes at season's end, making the whole process sustainable.

"All the boxes get re-used. I am also able to recycle about 70 percent of the potting mix from every box," Brower said.

One box costs $100, but there is a volume discount when more are ordered. Brower says you'll get 200 tomatoes out of a box, for example, so you'll get your money's worth. And while lettuce might be a wash cost wise, you won't have to waste or throw any product away.

"There's a lot of value added to the process. It's educational for the family and for the kids, and you know your produce is safe," Brower said.

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