**Disclosure: I was provided with a free Aquafarm from UncommonGoods in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was received. All opinions expressed are my own. I was not influenced in any way.**
UncommonGoods was founded in 1999 and is a privately owned online marketplace headquartered in New York City offering uniquely designed, high quality, handcrafted gifts created in harmony with the environment and without harm to animals or people. At UncommonGoods, they make it their mission to support and provide a platform for artists and designers. In fact, half of what they sell is made by hand, and most of the products they carry are created right here in the USA. UncommonGoods strives to work in harmony with the environment and it is their belief is that it is their responsibility to use their business to impact the world in a positive way so about one third of their entire collection incorporates recycled and/or upcycled materials. In addition, they print their catalogs on recycled paper and all their merchandise is produced without harm to animals. Through the Better to Give Program, UncommonGoods donates a portion of each order to your choice of non-profit organizations, including American Forests, Women for Women International, City Harvest, and the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN). Since they started the Better to Give program 12 years ago, they have donated over $700,000.
UncommonGoods was kind enough to ask me to review one of their products on my blog that I thought would make a good gift for Christmas. I fell in love with the Aquafarm right away but I wanted to concur with my teenage son to see if he agreed with me. While we thought that the Kinetic Sand was a cool product for kids and the Pick Punch was a functional product for a guitarist or someone with a creative mind, we just really loved the idea behind the Aquafarm. You can click here to check out more unique Christmas gifts for everyone on your list this year.
The Aquafarm is a revolutionary personal aquaponics garden that was created from all the thinking and learning of commercial aquaponics, condensed down with the goal of making something more accessible, inspirational, and educational. The Aquafarm takes the waste water from a goldfish or beta and upcycles it to use as fertilizer for plants to grow, including basil, mint, spinach, baby green, wheatgrass, and other edible or decorative plants. The plants clean the water when it is circulated past their roots and then pumps it back down to the 3 gallon tank tank, creating a happy, healthy habitat for the fish. No soil or chemical fertilizers are used in this process as the plants are grown using rocks and the fertilizer and nutrients come from the fish. This is meant to inspire more people to grow their own food. Essentially this is a self cleaning tank. The Aquafarm comes with everything needed to get started (except for a goldfish or beta), including organic seeds, a chemical free dechlorinator, rocks, and a sampling packet of fish food. The Aquafarm makes an intriguing visual centerpiece for your own environment, whether that's on a side table or countertop, in an office, classroom or kitchen. The Aquafarm is made in the United States in Union City, California.
The Aquafarm arrived at my house packaged really well. The packaging was quite cute actually. The directions for setting everything up were pretty straightforward and easy to follow and I was able to do this without help. Since we've had goldfish in the past but never a beta, I thought a nice pretty beta would be the perfect fish for my new tank. I chose to sit the Aquafarm on top of my television because it gets an adequate amount of sunlight and it's close to a plug-in so I can run the pump. However, I don't run the pump continuously but I do run it for about half of the day. It's not an extremely loud pump and even sitting on top of my television it doesn't cause us any problems hearing the sound. I planted basil in two of the five pots and wheatgrass in the other three. After just 3 days, the wheatgrass was already starting to grow. This inspired me to do some research about wheatgrass and it is actually very, very good for you so I decided to juice some of it in my juicer. I found out that it would take a LOT of wheatgrass to make a decent sized glass of wheatgrass juice but I was able to make enough to where I could tell if I would like it or not. Turns out wheatgrass juice doesn't taste all that good but next time I make some I'm going to add in some other fruits and/or veggies to make it more tolerable to drink. The basil hasn't sprouted yet.
Lorelei the fish loves her new home and is very happy and healthy. I bought her a pretty fake tree to put in her tank and she loves swimming through it. I do think there could have been a little bit more rocks included with the Aquafarm as there was barely enough to help keep the tree down and keep it from floating away. It's not that big of a deal though because I can always buy more. I also wish there was a light included with the Aquafarm as I'd love to watch Lorelei swim around and play at nighttime as well. In addition to adding some more rocks, I might eventually put a snail in the tank and maybe add another small tree as well. All in all I LOVE the Aquafarm. It has definitely inspired me to start growing my own food and to try different things. As time goes on, I want to grow different things in the Aquafarm so that I can add fresh ingredients to my dishes when cooking or make some super healthy drinks. I'm thinking I'd like to grow some spinach next. The Aquafarm is both inspiring and educational for young and old and would definitely make the perfect unique gift this holiday season.
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