This review is for the online ordering portion of Esbenshades Garden Center Plants.
I’ve ordered plants on line before, from an Indian rope plant to a Pilea peperomioides that now looks like it’s taken over the window shelf. Both came packaged exceptionally well, and you could see that the person sending them was someone who really cared for the plants’ wellbeing. It’s something that I do, and with the lockdown in NYC and no place to get fresh herbs, I figured I’d buy them online.
Harder to do than say that’s for sure. My first inclination was to go to Ferry Morse, where I get a lot of my seeds from, they do non-GMO, and organics, and they’re reliable, and I’ll be doing a review on them soon enough. But seeds and plants were sold out until May, and simply put, I didn’t want to wait, so I continued my search elsewhere.
I looked into a couple of other places until finally finding some available plants on Esbenshades, who I’d never heard of before. In any case, they had plants in stock, so I went on my hunt. Found rosemary, thyme, oregano, and was super pleasantly surprised to find they had Tomatillos, so got a plant of those as well.
Esbenshades garden center plants are available online in April / May 2020 with limited inventory
The order was shipped out pretty quickly, and within 3 days I had a part of it on my front doorstep. After further research, Esbenshades is based out of South Central PA, so not all that far from NYC, but impressive nonetheless.
After opening the box, though, I was pretty bummed. The plants were not in the best of shape. Earth had spilled all over the box, the tomatillo had a bent stem that I’m now trying to fix using a splint, but need to order grafting tape, otherwise I’m going to wait and see if they perk up 🤞.
Not great, and I’m a little bummed to be completely honest. To be fair, it could be the fault of the FedEx delivery guy, but my suspicion is on Ebonshades. I also bought a bag of organic potting soil that was not packed very well, which makes me suspect them more than the delivery company. Simply because we tend to have excellent experiences with all our delivery folks here.
I wrote the company a message, see below, and waiting to see what they say.
Recommendation: Esbenshades Garden Center Plants seem fine other than the one tomatillo, the delivery was quick even if sent out in multiple packages, but that could have just been the way I ordered. Pricewise, they’re on par with other garden centers, but I don’t know if the products they sell are organic. The packaging was not super great but could have been a fluke, let’s see what customer service has to say about it.
The ranking is based on a five star (*****) scale.
Delivery: *** Super quick, but take points off for allowing a multiple part option. Impact on the wallet: *** Neutral, costs are more or less on par with other garden centers. Plants: *** 3/4 came in Ok shape, one in poor shape.
Hamama Greens is Based out of SF and they produce home grow kits for microgreens. When writing this review I reached out to them via their website, and Camille, one of the founders was awesome enough to answer my questions, so some of this comes directly from her.
In addition to general questions about the device, I asked Camille what she’d like to accomplish with Hamama, and her quote was pretty awesome. “Our goal is to help as many people as possible experience that gardener’s high and get hooked. The feeling of eating something healthy that you had a part in producing.” Which to us is very solid. We’d love for every household in the US to grow a portion of their food at home, in fact that’s a big part of our mission so this resonated pretty well with us.
Cool, so let’s start it off with this – we’ve had them growing for four days and so far it works, and pretty well, but onto that in a bit. First let’s look at what you get for $35 bucks (looking around the internet the price here seems to have increased. (more…)
Let’s start off with this Hamama Greens has a pretty great mission which we align with here, they “want to help create a world where anyone can grow and eat fresh food as a part of a healthy lifestyle routine.” Right on! As someone who believes accessibility to fresh nutritious greens is pivotal, this initiative speaks to me. Price wise it’s also economical, the starter kit which comes with everything you need to get going is $35, this comes with enough seeds to grow your greens for a month, and then a monthly subscription to seeds at $16/month.
From my research this is one of the less expensive options, which is awesome, as economic accessibility to fresh greens is super important, and the monthly seed subscription won’t break the bank. Lastly if you love the system, Hamama Greens also offers a microgreen flat they call a grow tray for $25. Not bad at all. You can all this on their website, and they use Shopify with a custom domain to process all transactions.
I ordered over thanksgiving weekend and the microgreen kit was shipped that Monday by USPS, and arrived here in Brooklyn NY, Friday morning. We’ll get to setting all this up soon and will post updates here.
UPDATE!!!!! We’ve been getting the Hamama Greens kits for ~ 6 months now, and wanted to update our Hamama greens review. In short we’re absolutely thrilled with their product aside from one tiny snafu which was the postman’s fault.
We have Hamama greens every 7-10 days with our salads and eggs and sandwiches and are love the product so much we’ve bough it for friends and family. Get on this! Here’s part two of the review.
In terms of other indoor kits, we’ve done considerable research and have opted to simply start growing our food at home in coconut coir and hydroponic systems. More on that later though. If you’d like a Hamama Kit, you can get one form their site or support us by getting one here.
Also check our out review of the home herb garden Click & Grow.
A pretty unbiased Ditch the Dirt Book Review. A while ago I ordered the new book from titled Ditch The Dirt, written by Rob Laing, CEO of Farm.One which is also based here in New York. I’d heard about what they’re doing a while back through some friends in the venture community. Since then I have been following their progress and development as a company. So I was pretty excited to learn that we’d be getting a book on indoor farming from someone who’s had so much success in urban agriculture. My initial thoughts were that this book would help facilitate growing food at home, and it’s description on Amazon, pretty much states just that.
“Growing plants hydroponically―in water instead of soil―is easier thank you think. Ditch the Dirt will teach you the basics of hydroponic growing at home, including how to set up and take care of your garden, information on the most interesting edible plants, and delicious ways to use your harvest in your next meal.”
When I first ordered the Click and Grow Smart Garden 9 I received three marketing emails in quick succession. One to get $25 off and refer a friend. One for a free Smart Garden 3 (received on the same day that I placed my order). The last marketing communication to buy another garden and some flowers to grow in said garden.
Apartment Farming. Growing indoors in an apartment, is growing in sub-optimal conditions. Commercial vertical farms crate optimal conditions for growth. They cool or heat their grow areas provide optimal nutrient delivery and lighting for whatever green it is they’re growing. Most of us however don’t have access to that.
Growing indoors doesn’t present the same luxury. We have to live where we grow and indoor temperatures can range from the 60’s during winter to the high 80’s and even 90’s in summer. AC doesn’t blow evenly and in cities steam pipes can make the insides of apartments feel like saunas. Brooklyn anyone? (more…)