Growing your own avocado tree is supposed to be really simple. It’s a project suggested for elementary school kids: you save the seed from a ripe avocado, skewer it with a few tooth picks, keep the base submerged in water, and BAM! Eventually you should see the seed sprout into beautiful houseplant or even your very own avocado tree.
In reality, it’s not that simple. First, it’s quite hard to drive a toothpick into the hard husk of an avocado seed. I broke at least 20 toothpicks trying. Even if you do get them driven in correctly, odds are they won’t be perfectly symmetrical, and your seed will end up dangling awkwardly in the water, if it touches the surface at all. Then there’s the chore of keeping the bottom submerged while waiting two to six weeks for the first roots to sprout. I would inevitably forget about it for a day (or five) only to realize the water’s well below the seed. No doubt UK designer Andrew Mitchell had a few of these underwhelming experiences himself, because he created a fool proof incubation system that should turn sprouting an avocado into a far less frustrating endeavor.
Mitchell’s avocado incubator is breathtakingly simple–no stabbing yourself with unwilling toothpicks or spilling water all over yourself. The pot features a shelf with water drainage to allow an avocado seed to be submerged to the correct depth in water, while still providing space for roots to sprout.
Unlike the olive jar that I tried to use, the Incubator accepts all different sized seeds, down to 20mm in width. According to Mitchell, it also eliminates potential damage and infection to the seed by piercing it in the traditional ‘cocktail stick’ solution.
The only bad news is that, according to Mitchell’s website, the Incubators are currently out of stock. If you’re interested in purchasing one, just register to be alerted next time there’s a crop available.