Herbie indoor cultivation system for aromatic plants
- dimensions : H 44cm, length 40cm, width 19.7cm
- automatic hydroponic system: monthly watering
- monthly consumption: 19KW/h (using it 24/7) thus max. 3€ including tax /month
- content of the kit: water tank, Osram compact fluorescent tube, pump, mineral nutrients for 1 to 2 months, decorative plates (2 models, 2 and 3 pots)
- space for 3 pots measuring 7x7cm by section (max. 10cm high)
- allow for 2 power sockets (lamp and pump)
- colour: white or black
- elements made in China, assembly, development and nutrients carried out in Finland
- light bulb made in Italy
- delivered without plants
- to boost your crops: extra box of nutrients (8 packets, approx. 7 months)
FAITES VOTRE CHOIX :
3 good reasons
- you produce lots of homemade pesto sauce (otherwise, the recipe is here) and consider -quite rightly- that basil pots in the supermarkets are hugely overpriced
- you admire those genius professional horticulturists and have dreamt of having a miniaturised hydroponic installation at home for a long time
- you do not have a vegetable garden but feel a strong urge to always have coriander, basil, parsley or other fresh aromatic herbs within reach
how does it work?
Herbie is a miniaturised hydroponic cultivation system requesting substantially less work than cultivation in a vegetable garden:
- no frequent watering, the plants are continually nourished through the holes at the bottom of the container by the water flowing through the growth plate (a pump ensures constant flow). You only need to adjust the level of the tank and clean it approximately every 3 to 4 weeks.
- no necessary treatment against diseases, insects and parasites since the cultivation is indoors
- no flowering for aromatic plants, the lamp produces "spring light" (plants in a natural environment determine the time for flowering according to the light spectrum - that gets "hotter and hotter" as autumn approaches - and the number of daily light hours): since the lamp stays on at all times, the plants grow continually and never flower, which allows for an optimal production of leaves
- possibility to grow tomatoes (cherry tomatoes) or other flowering or fruit-bearing plants by using a timer in order to alternate 6 hours of darkness and 18 hours of light (leave the pump working at all times)
- permanent growth and at least twice as fast as outdoor cultivation, the plant is "forced" to sustain 24 hours of light a day and the provision of nutrients is perfect thanks to the perfectly dosed nutrient packet
GETTING STARTED GUIDE
1. Take Herbie out of its packaging. Rinse the tank and the plastic part (the growth plate) with water to remove potential dust accumulated in the factory and during transport.
2. Check the pump is set on minimum (the switch must be placed on the right). Check the tube integrated into the growth plate is linked to the water pump (to be placed in the tank, under the growth plate, suction pads facing downwards)
3. Put the growth plate back with the pump in place taking care of placing the cable of the pump in the space provided (cf. red arrow on the general picture above). The pump must be connected to the vertical tube of the growth plate. Fill the tank up to the maximum level shown on the growth plate (approx. 1.2 litres).
NB 1: the water level must remain between MAX and MIN (if it is not the case, the pump will become noisy). Let the pump function for 2 or 3 minutes then empty the water: this enables you to remove the dust accumulated during transport and storage. Beware no to get the power plug wet. It needs to be perfectly dry before plugging into the wall socket.
NB 2: the pump may be noisy during the first five minutes in operation because the air situated inside the circuit must be removed. If the pump continues to make a louder noise than a refrigerator, check the water level is between Max and Min (if the level is below Min, the pump ejects air and becomes noisier)
4. Assemble the fixing arm of the lamp holder and fix it underneath the water tank (you will hear a "click"). Check the pump cable goes through the hole of the growth plate then through the hole of the lamp holder. Fill the tank as indicated in step 3.
5. Fix the lamp holder, put the bulb in, then install the reflector.
6. Put in lettuces or aromatic herbs: you can use the standard pots on the market as long as the dimension of the sides does not exceed 7x7cm (approx. 9 cm high). Thoroughly clean the outside of the pot and check the pot has holes in its base. The raised edges situated on the growth plate maintain the pots in place.
7. Place Herbie in a place where the temperature is stable. Avoid places exposed to draughts or direct sunlight. Given that Herbie will stay switched on constantly, you can use it as an ornamental lamp, or place it where its light will not disturb you (scullery, cubby hole, garage, laundry room).
8. Check the power plugs are dry and then plug them on the mains. If water does not flow through the growth plate, check the pump is properly attached to the growth plate.
Video (sorry about our English):
What could a mini hydroponic cultivation system be any use for?
to boost your seedlings indoors come the end of winter: if you prefer to buy seeds rather than plants and lovingly prepare your seedbed at the end of winter, you will be able to boost some of your seedlings to give them a head start
- to always have aromatic plants at hand: in pots or in packets, aromatic plants used continually in the kitchen (coriander, basil, parsley, dill, tarragon, etc...) are sold a fortune for often ridiculous quantities. Cultivating aromatic plants outdoors is often a failure (unless you invest in mini greenhouses or chemical treatments that are rather unfavourable to immediate consumption), these plants being sought after by insects, gastropods and other parasites. With Herbie and 3 pots of aromatic plants, you have a true herb factory: the more you cut them, the more they grow, and the 24/7 boosted growth generates amazing crops!
- to explain and show hydroponic cultivation to children: at times of transparency of agricultural production methods and awareness of the precious nature of natural resources, it seems relevant to show children the efficiency of this cultivation method which produces most fruit, vegetables and flowers on the market.
About hydroponic cultivation
Hydroponic cultivation (hydroponics), also called soil-less cultivation, is a horticulture technique carried out on millions of acres across the world today: the majority of fresh vegetables (tomatoes, lettuces, broccoli, beans, aromatic herbs) and cut flowers sold in flower shops are cultivated with this method or one of its variants (NFT, aeroponics, ultraponics, tidal cultivation, aquaculture...). It does in fact enable you to accelerate the rhythm of crops, avoid certain diseases and parasites linked to in soil cultivation, control cultivation parameters (nutrients, hygrometry, temperature...), allowing increased yield and productivity. The main drawbacks of this type of cultivation, when carried out on a large scale, are the sealing of soils (with the absence of roots, rain water streams and joins the waterways without regenerating groundwaters) and the important fossil fuel consumption used to heat or light the crops.
Unlike what you can imagine, hydroponics is a very ancient cultivation method: the suspended gardens of Babylon would be the first know large scale experience, but we know the Peruvian people living by the lake Titicaca as well as the Aztecs in the swamps near what is now Mexico used rush rafts covered with a layer of silt to cultivate their fruit and vegetables: their roots go directly into the water, it is aquaculture. These ancestral techniques are still used nowadays.
The industrial version of hydroponics appears in Germany in the 19th century as part of scientific research. It then develops especially due to the emergence of the first fertilizers and manure: one can now nourish soil-less crops with a mix of water and carefully dosed nutrients.
- 60g. of fresh basil (leaves only)
- 70g. of parmesan
- 15g. of pine kernels
- 20cl of olive oil
- the traditional recipe includes a clove of garlic, but not at LaPADD, we finally removed it: it creates acidity which is in fact unpleasant (and it is not for lack of appreciation of garlic)
- grate the parmesan (if you have the technical equipment, in the blender used in step 3, it saves unnecessary cleaning)
- pan grill the kernels (watch carefully to avoid burning)
- place in the blender, in this order: olive oil, grilled kernels, basil leaves (without the stems) and the grated parmesan
- blend the lot and enjoy...
Even if it is nicer fresh, this pesto keeps very well (up to one month in the fridge), especially if you place it in a closed recipient (such as a jam jar) and pour a little olive oil on top to protect it.
efficient and easy cultivation: supply of water and nutrients every three weeks and Herbie takes care of the rest: the more you cut the plants, the more they grow, and they grow 365 days a year
tested Finish design: a sober and stylish design that fits into any interior, already more than 15,000 Herbies sold in Scandinavia in 6 months...
not really environmental-friendly but very educational: if one cannot call Herbie an environmental-friendly product, it still remains very sober on electricity: having said that, it enables young as well as older people to observe all year round - on a small scale - the technical achievements developed over centuries by man to cultivate his fruit and vegetables