I’ll admit it, right out of the box, the Greenjoy Hydroponics Growing System looked like it was going to a confusing hassle to set up. Part of me wanted to just stick with the little Aerogarden we were already using rather than figure out this complicated new system. But that’s no way to go about life, so onward we pressed with the assembly, we being the whole family. With the help of my wife and two kids, we got our Greenjoy assembled and ready for use in, oh, 10 minutes. Turns out it wasn’t actually very hard to set the thing up. But what is the thing?
The Greenjoy is a fully self-contained hydroponic growing system – meaning it grows plants without soil – that’s perfect for everything from lettuce to kale to spinach to myriad herbs to certain berries and other small fruits. “One of the greatest benefits of hydroponic systems is their ability to be almost completely automated,” says Alden Blease, Founder of R.E.D.D. plant-based protein bars and a diehard indoor farmer. “For the urban grower, hydroponic systems are advantageous because the plants can be grown without soil and they require less space than traditional growing methods.”
The Greenjoy, which is about two feet wide and a bit less than a foot and a half deep and tall, uses multiple full-spectrum LED lights that simulate sunshine, a gentle fan to circulate air, and rows of growing baskets that house your plants. A single Greenjoy can grow up to 15 plants at once, their roots all submerged in water that’s easily refreshed as needed and removed via built in water pump between grow cycles.
You control the system with the push of a single button, the lighted ring around which is also your signal that the Greenjoy needs more water, is in sleep mode, draining mode, and so on.
Ah, but how does one get from a fully set up and ready to go Greenjoy to fresh foods grown right there inside one’s very own home? Well, that part is pretty simple too; all you’ll need are your own seeds. The kit comes with a broad, flat rectangular sponge perforated into 20 little cubes, each with a hollowed-out bowl shape in the center. You soak the sponge, add a single seed to each bowl, then place the tray holding the sponge under the LED lights and start the 14-hour light cycle with a push of that single button. Within a couple of days – assuming your seeds were viable; they do have a shelf life, you know – you will see sprouts.
Once there are roots coming out the bottom of the sponge, you pop each square apart, set it own into the cup-shaped growing basket (of which there are fewer than the number of seeding cubes, so choose the heartiest little plants), fill the main reservoir, add included nutrients, and that’s pretty much it. Add water and nutrients as needed, but depending on what you planted, within just a few weeks you could be eating fresh, healthy foods grown without the need to so much as set foot outside your home.
Oh, and if you really get into the whole grow your own thing (or you really don’t want to leave home), the Greenjoy system is stackable; you can place up to three units atop one another, making a mighty indoor garden in less than three square feet of space.
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