About john

John is an avid indoor and outdoor gardener who has been with AeroGrow since inception, helping in all aspects of product development and marketing.

How fresh is fresh?

Did you know that fresh produce from your grocery store travels an average of 1,500 to 2,500 miles to reach your plate and averages 7 to 14 days from farm to plate?  Compare that to AeroGarden-fresh!  I like to grow the salad greens in my office at work for a healthy, FRESH, “off the plant” snack.

 

How to save tomato seeds

Every year, while I’m enjoying my best and most delicious garden tomatoes, I save the best seed for planting the following year.  I’ve enjoyed amazing tomatoes, handed down and passed around, year after year.  No matter the source, if I have a good tomato, I save a seed or two and give it a try the following year.  With hybrids, you’re never quite sure what you’ll get, and I enjoy the surprises.  With heirloom varieties, you get the same great flavor, year after year.  I even try to improve on that, by always saving seed from the best tasting tomatoes off each plant.

Here’s a quick and easy way to save tomato seeds: 

1)  As you’ve sliced into a winner, grab a 2-3 inch sticky note and write the name of the tomato on the top.  If you don’t know the name, make one up.  I name tomatoes like “Really Big Pink” or “Gina’s Favorite’s” or whatever will help me remember the variety. 

2)  Scoop a few seeds out of the tomato with the tip of a spoon.  You can keep the goo on them (it helps them stick).

3)  Place the seeds on the sticky note (see photo).

4)  Let air dry for 1-2 weeks.

5)  Place sticky note in a baggy or mason jar in the fridge.

6)  Next year, pull them out, peel the seeds off the sticky note, and plant indoors (AeroGardens are great for this) 6 weeks before the last frost date.  Then repeat next season!

Extra tip:  The sticky note above shows my current “favorite tomato ever,” a readily available beefsteak heirloom variety named “Cherokee Purple.”

 

Basil tip # 5 – Basil simple syrup

Thanks to Annie for this great tip for making sweetly spicy summer drinks!

To make basil simple syrup, combine equal parts sugar and water in a small saucepan.
Heat until the sugar dissolves, and then stir in a good handful of basil.
Remove from heat.  Let it steep for about 30 minutes, strain and store in the fridge.

Add your basil simple syrup to taste to iced tea, lemonade, even cocktails like mojitos or margeritas!