This Is Spring? A Sort Of Review. And Random Stuff

Well they tell me it’s spring out there. Yeah, right…

I was going to start building the frames to hold the solar panels but you can see how well that worked out. Also I’ve been having “issues” with Amazon of late, which is where I bought the panel clamps, so they aren’t here yet. More about that down below. If I remember. I probably won’t.

We got 8 – 10 inches of snow the other day. I just spent half an hour digging the solar panels out of the snow drift they were in. Yep. it’s spring in Wisconsin. Sigh… We’ve been very, very fortunate up here, to be honest. All of the storms raging across the country have been tracking well south of us before running up the east coast.

But it is looking like spring down in our basement. MrsGF has a small greenhouse with grow lights and a heating pad set up down there and has a lot of seedlings started already. And the stuff is growing like crazy. The way the weather is going I have no idea when we’ll be able to actually move plants outside. All we can do is wait and see what happens.

Now let’s talk about this -this thing

This is something called a Click N Grow hydroponic growing system. Only none of those words are actually true, to be honest. What it looks like in real life is this-

Can you say ‘disappointing’ boys and girls?

I got this is a gift from someone who got it as a gift from someone else and didn’t want it so I set up and tried it. Sigh…

How it works is like this: The base is filled with water. Those little pots have a sort of wick in them that extends down into the water to draw it up into the pot. Inside pot you have put the company’s “plant pods” which, of course, they will gladly sell you for many, many $$$.

So let me tell you what you get for your $180. You get a small grow light. You get two plastic arms that hold the light in place above the tank. The tank itself is lightweight plastic with some holes in it. You put plain water in the tank. You then put small plastic cups with a wick on the bottom into the holes. The wick draws water up into the cups.

And that’s what you get for your two hundred bucks. A $30 grow light and about $5 worth of plastic. No electronics, no pumps, no heaters. Just a grow light and some plastic bits.

Into those plastic cups you put the company’s “plant pods” which, as far as I can tell, consist of a chunk of peat moss worth maybe $0.20, and a couple of seeds. The company will (start sarcasm font) generously (end sarcasm font) sell you their proprietary “plant pods” in a 9 pack for about $24.

I should point out that while that looks pretty good in the photo those plants are only about 4 inches tall and most of them died shortly after I took this photo.

Now it does work. Kinda. I have to admit that. I have actual tomato plants growing down in my office with actual tomatoes growing on them. Well, sort of. The plants don’t look very healthy any more and the “tomatoes”, if you can call then that, are the size of peas and they never seem to actually get ripe. I got one tiny, tiny salad out of the three lettuce pods. Well “tiny” is being generous.

Do I need to tell you to avoid this thing like the plague? It consists of a $20 grow light and a few bucks worth of plastic. And that literally is all it is. And they are selling it for $180. The plant pods are peat moss with probably some added fertilizer, and a seed or two. MrsGF has a 4 shelf mini greenhouse down in the basement that can hold 2 or 3 full sized flats on each shelf, with grow lights and heaters, and that entire setup cost about half of what this — this thing sells for.

I’ll keep it going because I’m curious to see if those so-called tomatoes will ever actually turn red. After that the plastic bits go in recycling and the grow light might be salvageable and used in MrsGF’s greenhouse.

Amazon Issues

I don’t know what’s going on with Amazon of late. Maybe it’s just a local issue? Let me explain. A couple of weeks ago I ordered a monitor stand. Amazon told me it would arrive in 2 days. Fine. On the 3rd day I got a message saying delivery had been delayed and would now take another two days. Okay. I’m in no big rush. Then on the day the stand was supposed to arrive I got a message telling me it was “undeliverable” and it was being returned to the warehouse and I would be issued a credit. There was no explanation of what “undeliverable” actually meant. By that time I kinda really wanted the stand so I ran all the way up to Appleton and bought one at Office Max.

Three days later, guess what Amazon dropped off at my door? Yep, the monitor stand I’d ordered a week and a half earlier.

Earlier I’d ordered a heavy electrical cable to connect my backup generator to the transfer switch in the house. These things are expensive, around $200 for the one I needed. The cable arrived two days later. It was the wrong one. The day after that the right cable came. Amazon says they have no record of the wrong cable being sent and I should just keep it. Not sure what I’m going to do with it, but okay…

I ordered mounting brackets for my solar panels last week. They were supposed to arrive on Saturday. Sunday I got a message that they were delayed and they should come tomorrow, Tuesday. Okay…

I ordered a National Geographic science kit as a gift for a great nephew. They told me it would arrive in two days. Great. It arrived in 8 hours. Seriously. I ordered it around 10 AM and it arrived at 4 PM the same day.


I’m more grouchy than usual at the moment. I’m prepping for a colonoscopy tomorrow so I’ve had no solid food for 2 days and now I’m trying to gag down a half gallon of Gatorade mixed with laxatives that will keep me huddled near the bathroom for the rest of the evening. Great fun.

Author: grouchyfarmer

Yes, I'm a former farmer. Sort of. I'm also an amateur radio operator, amateur astronomer, gardener, maker of furniture, photographer.

8 thoughts on “This Is Spring? A Sort Of Review. And Random Stuff”

  1. Sorry to hear about the medical procedure. Definitely not fun. The basement seedlings look good though.


    1. The procedure went fine. I’ll be sore “down there”, as they say, for a few days but otherwise it wasn’t too bad. It’s the preparation that’s the worst part of it.


  2. I have had two of those “Medical Procedures” you describe and I hated preparing for both of them even though the procedures themselves were not uncomfortable at all … they were not uncomfortable in a physical sense .. more so in a mental sense .. especially after a doctor asked me (during the procedure) “How do you like that?” (In a barely intelligible foreign accent.) I answered him and said, “It is not all that bad but it is not something I would recommend as casual pleasure.” — I love the hydroponic idea … I knew a guy once (Now moved to Central America) who used hydroponics to grow his weed …and most of my Amazon experiences have been good … it is ebay that gave me fits once …but I got a refund from ebay so it turned out well …


    1. The preparation is the worst. No solid food for two days and then I had to choke down two quarts of gatorade laced with Miralax in under two hours, and then spend the next 4 hours REAL close to a bathroom. As for the procedure itself, I’m out like a light during it. They put an IV in me, put me on oxygen, an anesthetist says “I’m going to start the anesthesia now, and then I wake up about an hour or so later in the recovery area. Some people have told me they were aware of what was going on during it but that would drive me crazy.

      Hydroponics are great, but you don’t need all that to grow plants indoors, just some potting soil and grow lights and maybe a bit of warmth.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not to actually “change the subject,” but I’ve often thought those moments under anesthesia could be compared to the experience of death … except we don’t ever wake up.


          1. Yes, but somehow I feel sleeping is different. Perhaps because it’s not as deep as being under anesthetic? Anyway … just sharing a thought.


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