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If, like at least one gluten-free vegan, you are blessed to have delightful, thoughtful, grown children who know you well, disagree with seemingly almost all of your eating preferences, and yet love you anyway, you may be lucky enough to receive from them the birthday gift shown in the accompanying photo. The AeroGarden 7 arrived a few days ago, complete with easy-to-follow instructions and everything that a gluten-free vegan living in an apartment could need to grow seven plants indoors in a very small space. It arrived between snowstormsoh, not so bad as the snowstorms in Maryland, where the older daughter lives, or in Chicagoland, where the younger daughter lives, or in Iowa, where the son lives, but bad enough to make the old birthday mom in Kansas pine for spring and the opening of the local farmers market.

The box contained the following seven herbs: dill, chives, Genovese basil, Thai basil, cilantro, mint, and curly parsley. All that the little indoor garden needed after relatively easy assembly were the addition of three and a half quarts of tap water and 8 ml of enclosed plant food, along with plugging it into a wall outlet. It has its own automatic timer for the lights. It also has automatic reminders to add water and