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AeroGarden grows up

AeroGrow Secures $14.5 Million in Debt Financing to Fund Expansion

The AeroGarden: The world's first kitchen garden appliance.

You know those space-age countertop gardens that you've seen on TV and in specialty in-flight magazines? They are called AeroGardens and they're popularity continues to, well, grow. According to their news release today, AeroGrow International (NASDAQ: AERO) secured a bountiful harvest of another type of green from several banks and investors. With a market capitalization just over twice the size of their new line of credit, the company seems to be betting on some big crop returns this fall when it expands its line of products.

The AeroGarden uses the dirt-free growing method called aeroponics. "Plant roots are suspended in air within a 100 percent humidity, highly-oxygenated growing chamber." Aeroponics has been around a long time, with NASA experimenting with it starting in the '60s. Richard Stoner first brought commercial varieties to market in the '80s, and today the technology is used around the world. While aeroponics, the process, may continue to flourish, the goal of AeroGrow, the company is to get you to purchase a garden for your own kitchen.

The company sells not only the AeroGarden units, but also the highly profitable seed kits that go with them. Each seed kit is tailored to a specific growth cycle, thereby limiting the amount of mixing and matching one can do, but they do offer many different kits. At twenty bucks a pop, it might at first blush seem like a pretty hefty price to pay for herbs you can find at the grocery store--herbs which you then must wait for to grow--however, there really is no substitute for fresh herbage. With a promised harvest time of four to five months, the cost effectiveness becomes apparent.

With their new funding in place, AeroGrow is betting on a rosy outlook for the future, and with more than 1,000,000 seed kits already sold, it's not hard to imagine a garden for every home.