Oh, the irony — I am sitting here, today, in my favorite comfy sweat pants and a snuggily, warm sweater waiting for the biggest blizzard of our winter to arrive. I need to go down and get a good fire roaring in the fireplace. As the snow flakes begin their dancing descent, outside the window, [...]
Oh, the irony — I am sitting here, today, in my favorite comfy sweat pants and a snuggily, warm sweater waiting for the biggest blizzard of our winter to arrive. I need to go down and get a good fire roaring in the fireplace. As the snow flakes begin their dancing descent, outside the window, it could not be more obviously winter. I’ll probably even bake bread and make a pot of wonderful soup, later on. Those are just “wintery” things to do, right? So, where’s the irony? Right here. I have seven GORGEOUS tomato plants growing in my kitchen, in preparation for my backyard garden! One of them is 12 inches tall, today!!!!!!!!!! Oops! Sorry. I’m just a little excited. :)
I shared my discovery of Baker Creek Seeds with you, last spring, and I am so proud of myself to have already added to my collection, every new heirloom seed I will need for this year’s garden. The seeds you use are as important as the food you put into your body and at Baker Creek, I am always confident that I am getting the highest quality, organic, non-GMO, heirloom seeds. Remember, an heirloom is a seed that has not been hybridized (crossbred with another variety or modified in some chemical way). The fruit or vegetable it produces will produce more of the same seeds you planted, year after year. Hybrid seeds cannot be saved and planted the next year, because the seeds they produce don’t produce the plant you started with. Usually it will revert back to one of the two original plants that were crossbred or some mutation of your original. You really can’t be sure what you will get. For me, heirloom seeds produce the healthiest, most flavorful fruits and vegetables. They taste like your memory tells you they should – the way they did when you were a kid, pulling a tomato from the vine, eating it right there in the garden with the juice running down your chin and your arm. FLAVOR, nutrition, texture – they’re all different when you use heirloom seeds. Once you start, you won’t go back. And in the 2 years I have used Baker Creek seeds, I have never had one not germinate — never! Of course it’s possible that it could happen, but seriously, I love this company and the quality of their products and my success rate with them, has been phenomenal.
So, now that you know where to get fabulous seeds, get going. Let’s get some gardening mojo fired up! What? Oh, winter — yeah, that’s right. Well, no worries. Even if you’re like me, and don’t have windows with great southern exposure in your house, you can still get a head start on your garden, save money by starting your plants from seed AND know exactly where your plants came from. You’ll know exactly how, and with what, your plants have been treated; and this summer, depending on the size of your garden, you’ll reap a harvest that will save you hundreds, maybe even thousands of dollars, in your grocery budget. If you’re tired of flavorless, expensive and quick to spoil supermarket veggies, that have been altered nutritionally; a garden, whether it’s big or small, is the solution to your frustrations. The AeroGrow indoor garden system, I was able to test, these last several weeks, allowed me to get started, now, even as the snow is drifting up outside. I’ll have large, strong and healthy plants to set out in the spring and you can, too! I am actually flabbergasted at the results I have already achieved with my AeroGarden.
I was a little skeptical when I first unpacked the AeroGarden Ultra, as it seemed too light-weight to be durable. In spite of it’s light-weight plastic construction, however, it has held up well in the highest trafficked area in our house — the kitchen. It successfully supported the aforementioned beautiful tomato plants in four different varieties and is currently growing seven different types of basil. The most amazing part of this gardening feat is that it was accomplished in about 22 days. That’s right – seven, already large, tomato plants in four varieties AND seven different types of basil! And just like me, you would have the option to do the same — grow plant starts to move to your garden or patio container garden, or simply grow your garden hydroponically, right in the AeroGarden. Imagine fresh herbs or cherry tomatoes in the middle of winter! It’s an ingenious invention!
My AeroGarden Ultra came with three grow lights that provide heat and the perfect amount of light for seeds to germinate and grow, even during these gray, dismal winter days. There is no soil used, only water. It’s a counter-top hydroponic garden. I have since transplanted my tomatoes into pots of soil to give them a chance to grow even larger, before I move them to our garden in the spring. This is the 3rd day for the basil I planted and all seven of them have already sprouted. While I chose to use the “Grow Anything” package and use my own seeds for the tomatoes, I did use AeroGarden’s pre-packaged Basil seeds for my second planting.
The AeroGarden was easy to assemble, start and operate. The digital display walks you through each step of the process to get your garden started and then notifies you when it needs attention, like adding more water or liquid nutrients. It even provides a tip of the day, to help you maximize your gardening success. The AeroGarden Ultra also has a water pump to circulate the water around the roots of the plants. It is very quiet and we rarely noticed it, unless we were trying to hear it. I definitely liked that feature! The light is mounted on a telescoping pole that allows it’s heat and light to be very close for germination and early growth, and then raised as the plants get larger. The kit for my Ultra also included a snap-on trellis system to provide even more support for larger plants.
I’m hoping to have started several batches of plants and given them a good head start before garden season arrives here in Nebraska. I’m excited for spring and all that it will mean, but for the time being, I’m content to do my “farming” in the kitchen with the help of my new AeroGarden Ultra!
Busy-at-Home readers can use the exclusive coupon code, BLOGCOUPON20, to receive 20% off their purchase of an AeroGarden for their own home. Choose from three different sizes and get the garden that is just right for you and your family. And just because I love you all so much, Busy-at-Home will give away a $50 VISA Gift Card to one lucky reader, to use towards their own gardening endeavors. I can’t wait to hear what all of you have planned for your gardens, this year!
You must be a resident of the U.S. and at least 18 years old, to enter the giveaway. To enter complete the mandatory entry, register your entry on the Rafflecopter form, below and complete any of the optional additional entries to increase your odds of winning. It’s that simple. Good luck!
In a comment on this post, tell me what you would like to grow if you owned an AeroGarden? Would you start plants for your outdoor garden, or grow them right in the garden on your counter? That’s it. Once you’ve left your comment, register your entry on the Rafflecopter form.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I received an AeroGarden Ultra in order to test it in my own kitchen and collect data and info for this review. No monetary compensation was received and a positive review was not required. Busy-at-Home is the sole sponsor of this giveaway and will be responsible for prize fulfillment. As with all Busy-at-Home reviews the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own, and based on my personal experience with the product.
It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it, right? My family just had the opportunity to test four delicious pasta sauces from Bove’s. Bove’s started three generations back in a family-run, Italian restaurant, in Vermont. They attribute their great success to high quality, all natural ingredients, cooking only in small, quality-controlled batches and [...]
It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it, right? My family just had the opportunity to test four delicious pasta sauces from Bove’s. Bove’s started three generations back in a family-run, Italian restaurant, in Vermont. They attribute their great success to high quality, all natural ingredients, cooking only in small, quality-controlled batches and staying true to their time-tested, family recipes. Their business has grown over the years to include producing frozen lasagnas, frozen meatballs and jarred pasta sauces, while still adhering to those original principles.
You may not realize that April is National Garlic month, but in honor of this great celebration, we were offered the chance to review Bove’s Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce; (which, incidently, is going to be featured on The Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate”) . Never one to miss the chance for a celebration OR spaghetti, I happily accepted, and what a great surprise when the box arrived, to find four different flavors to test! Not only did we have Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce, but we also received Basil Pasta Sauce, Vodka Pasta Sauce and Marinara Sauce. As it turns out, the Roasted Garlic and Basil Pasta Sauces ended up in a dead-heat tie for first place in our testing, with Vodka Pasta Sauce coming in second and the Marinara, third.
Instead of adding ground beef directly to the sauce, I just browned it up and left it to each person to add what they liked. We made a lovely salad, some garlic bread, served tons of freshly grated Parmesan to top the pasta and made lots and lots of noodles, then left everyone to taste and try the sauces, as they wished. Our grandbabies even got in on the act! They are spaghetti experts extraordinaire! Truly! They’re so serious about their pasta sauce, they’ve even been known to WEAR it.
Each sauce had rich tomatoey flavor and they were THICK, the way we like our sauce — clinging to every noodle. All are sugar-free, and I must confess that I added 2 Tablespoons of sugar to each jar, to cut the acid of the tomatoes a bit and appease my husband, who must always have a little sweet in his pasta sauce. Those of you on sugar restricted diets will love the all-natural approach to these sauces, though. I loved looking at the labels and finding an ingredient list of very familiar food products with names I could pronounce. Every ingredient on the jar was something I could pull from my own pantry or refrigerator! Without a doubt, we loved Bove’s pasta sauces, as was evidenced by the cleaned plates and happy smiles. What a yummy dinner!
If you would love to serve Bove’s for your own National Garlic month celebration, or just for a fabulous fun spaghetti dinner, stop by their online store and order your favorite varieties! Bove’s also has their own blog with tons of news and yummy meal ideas. They even have a recipe section with 10 delicious dishes for you to try.
Our family will be enjoying Bove’s pasta sauces, again! I’m sure that the Roasted Garlic and the Basil are in our immediate future. One lucky Busy-at-Home reader will have the same opportunity! Boves is generously sponsoring a giveaway of one jar of their delicious sauce for a Busy-at-Home reader.
Entrants must be 18 or older and a resident of the U.S. Mandatory entry must be completed for any additional entries to be counted. Deadline to enter is midnight (CST), Sunday, May 8, 2011. Winner will be selected in a random drawing using random.org.
Leave a comment below, telling me which of the six flavors of Bove’s pasta sauce you would most like to try, if you’re the winner. If you don’t remember all the varieties, you can find them listed in the Bove’s store.
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- Like Bove’s on Facebook and leave a comment below with your Facebook name, letting me know you did.
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Post this giveaway on your Facebook page. Enter to win a jar of Bove’s pasta sauce at Busy-at-Home. Bove’s sauces have been featured on The Food Network and their sugar-free, all-natural sauce is delicious! http://bit.ly/eWKOnO Leave a comment below with a link to your post.
- TweetTweet this giveaway (1x daily) : http://bit.ly/eWKOnO Leave a comment below with a link to your tweet.
I received four jars of Bove’s pasta sauce, in different varieties, in order to conduct this review. No monetary compensation was received and a positive review was not required. As with all Busy-at-Home reviews, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own. Boves will ship a FREE jar directly to the giveaway winner.