This Indoor Garden Saves Me So Much Money on Produce — and Grows Enough to Share with My Whole Family
Despite the fact that I don’t have a green thumb, I’ve always wanted to grow my own herbs. Even better, my own lettuce. However, I’ve never lived in a space where I’ve been able to do so — believe it or not, I don’t even go out on my balcony. (Partially because of wasps, but also because my only view is a stranger’s backyard.) Needless to say, I prefer to deal with all of my greenery indoors, and a hydroponic garden wasn’t on my radar until I started seeing them pop up everywhere online. And, who wouldn’t want the convenience of having a mini farm right in their home, especially if you’re living in a cozy apartment? I’d written it off as a somewhat-impossible dream until Lettuce Grow gave me the opportunity to try out their newest product, the Farmstand Nook. Suddenly, there was no need for a sprawling backyard or a green thumb honed over years — it’s designed to fit right into your life.
A Quick Look at the Farmstand Nook
- Compact design that needs less than four square feet of level space
- 20 ports for plants that are split evenly between four levels
- Fully-integrated LED lights, which means there’s no sunlight required
- Nine-gallon water tank that’s nearly 60 percent smaller than the original Farmstand
- Self-watering and self-fertilizing with the help of its digital smart timer
- App-enabled smart timer to automate and control the Farmstand Nook remotely
Design Features That Stand Out
The size of the Farmstand Nook is one of its greatest strengths. Thanks to its slimmer profile, it has the ability to fit into tiny corners of the home, even dimly-lit areas, without compromising growth. Its integrated lighting system and self-watering features also make the Farmstand Nook mostly hands-free outside of harvesting and fertilizing prep. The grow cups and sleeves are easy to install and label once you order a round of seedlings. This particular stand is meant to be used indoors to grow herbs, edible flowers, small vegetables, and lettuce. Each seedling pack lets you know the plant type, estimated harvest date, and the best level to place it on the Farmstand Nook. Because each plant is separated between ports and can be removed individually as needed, it means that cleanup isn’t a hassle. The digital smart timer that’s included with the farmstand is equipped to assist with lighting, watering, snooze, and other remote features.
How It Performed
When I received the Farmstand Nook, it was a little intimidating at first to see all the pieces, but assembling the stand wasn’t much trouble at all. Lettuce Grow does a great job walking you through the setup of your farmstand, including checking the pH balances, so you can start growing plants in no time. We weren’t sure where to place it in the beginning, but ultimately decided on a spot beside the fireplace and behind the sofa in our living room, and it doesn’t disrupt the entire space. The seedlings we began our farmstand journey with were muir lettuce, romaine lettuce, parsley, mixed greens, and kale. Unfortunately, our kale and some mixed greens struggled quite a bit — which was more user error than anything — so we ended up placing an order for banana peppers, jalapeños, cherry tomatoes, and mint. The seedlings got to us quickly, so we were able to load them in with the original plants that we had left.
By far, the lettuce grew the fastest and we had lots of it — so much that we had gallon-size bags to share with my parents, aunt, and cousins. We ended up with a lot of parsley, too. The biggest surprise was the size and quality of the cherry tomatoes and the banana peppers. I’m not big on tomatoes unless they’re well-seasoned and cooked, but I couldn’t help plucking them off the Farmstand Nook and trying them fresh. Once they started growing, we managed to get enough for salads, pizza, and snacking. Like any garden, there are some plants you can harvest multiple times, like green onion, and others that can only be harvested once. However, with how quickly the seedlings arrive after an order has been placed, we didn’t experience much time with an empty ports.
What We Loved
- The quality and quantity of the produce: You get so much from a single $3.99 seedling pack. These aren’t tiny plants that provide only a small handful of produce. For instance, we ended up with more banana peppers than we’d ever use at one time, and had to give some away before they started to go bad!
- Saving money on groceries: The Farmstand Nook totally has the ability to cut down your grocery list because there’s so much you can grow right at home. As someone who will buy lettuce and forget I have it, I also love that the farmstand keeps it on display. Sometimes I would harvest lettuce and other items, rinse them, and turn them into a salad right in the moment. I haven’t had to deal with wilted lettuce in months!
Good to Know
The Farmstand Nook requires access to a GFCI outlet, which could come at a small extra cost to you if there’s not one in a convenient location in your space.
Should You Buy the Farmstand Nook?
At $699, the Farmstand Nook is definitely an investment, but it’s one that pays for itself in the long run, since it’s like having a farmers’ market right inside your home. I’d recommend this farmstand to anyone who’s looking for an indoor garden that:
- Is suitable for any climate
- Is small-space friendly, but not necessarily meant for the counter
- Grows enough plants and veggies to share with friends and family
- Can fit into tight corners of the home, including dark spaces
- Can be disassembled easily to move with you
Where to Buy the Farmstand Nook
Buy: Farmstand Nook, $699