A new trend for fresh veggies

With our household getting ready to go into overdrive on the issue of health, weightloss and feel good, I pick up a lot of stories that provide tips and sound advice. This following story came to me via a Craigslist post and I thought it interesting enough to share with you after I verified the credentials of the author.

Air gardens, EPA, Carbon Dioxide

In the middle of winter, when snow is drifting across the frozen landscape, fresh herbs and vegetables are at a premium in the stores. 
To help you get fresh produce at that time, some companies are advertising counter-top gadgets, so-called air gardens to grow your own green sprouts, ready to harvest in the depth of winter.

An air garden is a rewarding hobby that can provide some healthy food, such as tomatoes, lettuce and herbs, and aesthetic pleasure as well. Indirectly, it will also contribute some carbon dioxide to the air, but can it be a polluter? Like all living plants, your counter-top air garden needs a few key ingredients, namely some mineral nutrients, such as potassium, nitrogen and phosphorous salts, water, light (provided from a lamp above), and carbon dioxide (CO2). 
The salts are supplied, the water you add, and the light you plug into the nearest electric outlet and flip the switch.

The CO2, however, is silently garnered by the growing plants from the surrounding air. 
Even though CO2 is present at a concentration of only 0.04% in the air, nothing would grow at all without it. Many commercial greenhouse operations exploit that knowledge to accelerate plant growth by artificially raising the CO2 level to 0.1%.  Air gardens actually consume CO2 (by the growing plants), but, indirectly, they also create CO2 by consuming electricity via the grow-light.

Overall, your air garden converts nutrients and electricity into food and, indirectly, some CO2. 
All plants on the earth’s surface are getting their entire carbon from the photosynthetic process that is converting atmospheric CO2 to plant matter. Without CO2 in the air, no plant would exist on the surface of the earth.

So, do you think your air garden is a polluter?

Most of the carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air comes from volcanic emissions. Only a small percentage is from burning fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, natural gas, or wood. This CO2 is the natural and unavoidable main product of burning fossil fuels, a process which generates approximately 75% of North America’s electricity.

How does that relate to your air garden’s sprouts?

Well the EPA 
-the US Environmental Protection Agency- recently declared CO2 to be an evil dangerous pollutant and is in the process of limiting the CO2 output of electricity-generating power plants. That also means, indirectly, they are limiting the amount of electricity generated that way and available to you. That is how your air garden comes into focus and may soon be on EPA’s hit-list too. 
Better start your own air garden grow-operation soon, before itt becomes defined as a dangerous polluter and is outlawed. Oh yeah… and eat your veggies!

Dr. Klaus L.E. Kaiser