Healthy Choice Cafe Steamers for seed starting/hydroponics

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Many times I see some packaging and eventually get an idea how I can reuse it with some minor modifications for starting seeds or some other purpose in the garden. I had one of these moment as soon as I opened my Healthy Choice General Tso’s Spicy Chicken Café Steamer   In case anyone is wondering what the purpose of this new packaging is, I could try to explain it but I will allow their marketing department do it for me:

“Our innovative product line utilizes a new and unique microwave Steam Cookerâ„¢–so you can lock in all the naturally fresh flavors of restaurant-inspired meals by steaming them yourself. With new Healthy Choice Café Steamers, vegetables stay bright and crisp, meat and seafood are juicy and tender, rice is moist and fluffy, and pasta is firm.”

After being delighted in the science of their frozen food steaming technology, I discovered I could easily repurpose the packaging completely as-is.

My first initial thought was to use this for starting seeds since it is the perfect size and depth for seeds starts before requiring their first transplant. As an added bonus they already have great drainage holes and even a reservoir in case of excess watering or allowing for wicking if I am going to be away from my seedlings a couple days.

My second thought was hydroponics, which is the process of growing vegetables without using soil. The basic idea is the plant gets all it needs from the nutrient solution which is applied always keeping the roots wet in the preferred growing medium. By adding a growing medium such as coconut fiber or Rockwool, adding some nutrient solution and an air bubbler to the bottom portion of this tray you have a cheap hydroponic system.  It is even big enough to support at least three small plants.

With either option the removal tray is also easily removable incase of overwatering or to change nutrient solution with very little disturbance to the plant(s).

One other benefit use is actually consuming the contents (preferable before used for gardening) which I did try and though the packaging has some interesting uses after you eat it, the meal tastes just about as bad as any other TV dinner I have eaten.

One Response to “Healthy Choice Cafe Steamers for seed starting/hydroponics”

  1. Steve Says:

    I just saw a visit on my site from this one. I am glad I did. It is great. I’ll add a link ASAP.


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