News & Trends: 5/12/15 (cont'd)


New Kind of Fitbit for Your Garden

Now that smart wearables such as Fitbits and Smart Watches are big hits with consumers, attention has already shifted to buying the next hot new gadget. And, that gadget could be the moderately-priced, Fitbit-type system for your garden! Called the Edyn, the device is scheduled to ship later this month. It's the brainchild of a Princeton-educated soil scientist and an industrial engineer.

This new Wi-Fi-enabled, solar-powered system (sensor and valve) will appeal to novice and expert gardeners alike. Its sensor monitors and analyzes your garden's data (soil moisture, light, temperature and plant nutrition) in real time, then sends you push notifications about the TLC your garden needs. It also advises you about which plants will thrive in your particular environment, when to plant them, fertilizer types for your conditions and when to harvest your prized vegetables.

Best of all, the Edyn valve that hooks up to your sprinkler automatically waters your plants according to how much water they actually need! All of this for about $160.00.

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AARP's Cool New Livability Index Helps Compare Cities Before You Move

Now that spring has finally arrived, memories of the cold, snowy winter have faded for some of us. But for others, these memories linger and inspire them to move - - either to a warmer climate or at the very least, to a maintenance-free condo in another neighborhood.

Either way, AARP has everyone covered with its cool, new Livability Index that compares neighborhoods, communities and cities.

Type in the address, zip code, city or state of your current or future home and up pops a Livability Score. The score is based on the average scores of seven livability categories that most affect daily living — housing, neighborhood, transportation, environment, health, engagement and opportunity. Livability Scores range from 0 to 100, but a neighborhood would have to rank among the very best in each of seven livability categories in order to earn a perfect score. Perhaps city planners should also take a look?

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