Mike on America

The Aero Garden: Grow Food In Your Own Kitchen!


So here's the pitch. With all the concerns about food 'security' and 'chain of evidence', and with all the talk about sustainability and organic--how would you like to watch the food you eat actually grow--AND--be able to pick it right off the plant in your kitchen?

Aero Garden

Meet something called the 'Aero Garden'. It's the newest invention of 'serial entrepreneur' Michael Bissonnette, who has brought to market dozens of ideas over the past couple of decades.

It's billed as the world's first kitchen garden appliance. Using artificial light and patented seed pods, you can grow herbs, vegetables--and soon flowers, right there in your kitchen. Measuring 19 inches wide by 10 and a half inches deep and expanded from 15 to 22 inches tall it's a 'technology meets nature' story based on 'aerophonics'--an extension of hydroponics. In other words the plants don't grow in soil--there is no dirt--they grow in the air and water. NASA has used the technology in space, but while there is science in the product you don't need to be a scientist to actually work it.

There's the genius. Gardening for 'dummies' meets microprosessing! The darn little thing tells you when to add water, when to add nutrients, everything but when to eat the stuff that grows.

Bissonnette and his team worked over 3 years on bringing it to market, and the publicly traded Aero International Inc, just listed this week on NASDAQ, has seen growth from zero to over six million in sales in the last four years. Using a QVC, infomercial, catalog marketing approach in the beginning, it is now available in over 13 hundred retail doors.

If timing in life is everything, then this 'first to market' product in what Bissonnette feels is a new, billion dollar, indoor, kitchen gardening appliance category couldn't have come at a better time.

I'm in Aspen now at the Food and Wine Festival--the buzz is 'sustainability' and 'food accountability'--using as many local products as you can and knowing what goes on and in them. Nothing much closer than your kitchen counter.

The lineup of seed packets--yes, it's a razor and razor blade approach to business--you buy the 'gardening appliance'--then they keep selling you the special seed pods and nutrient packets--cross all lines--lettuce, herbs, you name it. What they're aiming for now--full sized tomatoes--they already do 'cherry'.

And yes, if you were so inclined--but of course you're not--NOT--you could probably grow something else in the thing...with seeds..and artificial light. Oh...lost my train of thought.

Aero Grow----you grow it--you eat it!

Questions?  Comments?  mikeonamerica@nbcuni.com