Laws of terumot and ma’aserot for Trio planters
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This abstract discusses whether the new Trio planters (and any other countertop planters) are subject to the laws of terumot and ma’aserot, and provides halachic guidelines for using them.
Hishtil recently came out with a new product, Trio, featuring a carton planter with three different plants. The triple planter is for growing plants in the kitchen and it is very convenient and easy to use, especially for herbs and tea leaves. You can grow and pick several leaves from the planters and put them straight into your salad or cup of tea. Even though the planter grows different crops, this does not constitute kila’im for two reasons: (1) each plant sits independently in a separate planter, and (2) it is apparent that they are not mixed together. The question that arises, though, is whether these plants are subject to terumot and ma’aserot.
Plants grown in an unperforated pot inside one’s home are subject to terumot and ma’aserot but without a blessing. Some claim, however, that Trio plants should be exempt from terumot and ma’aserot since they are grown hydroponically and terumot and ma’aserot are taken in the factory before they are sold.
It seems, though, that the terumot and ma’aserot taken in the factory are not sufficient for two reasons: (1) These crops are not really grown hydroponically, since each plant has its own platform and does not grow only with water. Therefore the separation of terumot and ma’aserot in the factory is insufficient, since it is as if they are taken from crops that are connected to the soil. (2) Since the plants continue to grow, one needs to take terumot and ma’aserot from the additional growth.
Anyone who buys the Trio planters needs to take terumot and ma’aserot without a blessing each time they pick a leaf, as is the halacha for plants in unperforated pots growing inside the house.
See here for the full article.