Gardyner Spotlight: Tria Connell Uses Gardyn Harvests to Nourish Rescued Rabbits

Published Sep 2, 2021

Pets hold a special place in our hearts. And when one of them is struggling, we do the best we can to give them a safe and healthy home.

When Tria Connell learned the store brought greens she fed to her rabbits could be a carrier of a deadly bunny virus called RHDV2, she was prompted to make a drastic change in the main source of their diet staple – lettuce.

An active volunteer with Save-a-Bunny Rescue, where over 5000 rabbits have been rescued to date from neglect,  abandonment, and places like medical animal testing labs, Tria shared with Gardyn that feeding salad greens and flowers helps establish trust in emotionally scarred bunnies.

“RHDV2 had just been found in my area and at that time we did not have a vaccine here in the United States,” Tria explained about the virus that is 90% fatal, extremely painful to die from, and can live without a host for 3-4 months on store-bought greens. “We finally got the vaccine and my buns have been vaccinated now.”

Relieved she could finally have peace of mind about what she was feeding all her pets, Tria’s been dipping into harvests and enjoying fresh food herself.

At Gardyn, we’re dreaming big to provide people anywhere and everywhere with nutritious food and flavors from around the globe – and that includes the animals we love! 

We hope you enjoy Tria’s story…

What made you want to decide to become a Gardyner?

I first wanted to become a Gardyner because I wanted to grow safe food for my bunnies. 

I saw the Gardyn first and then looked at other systems. Gardyn won me over instantly with the AI and Kelby and its clean, beautiful, science fiction design! I love new technology, and retro futurism. During the mid-late 60’s Walt Disney once talked about how “in the future” the way we grow our food would be more intertwined with our daily life. Planted in public areas, instead of non edible trees and shrubs. That’s why there are all the fruit trees and vegetables planted as “landscape” in the Tomorrowland section of Disneyland! 

About 8 months later I got my second Gardyn system, because I was jealous of all the yummy food my bunnies were eating and I wanted some for me too!! They always get first dibs!

In the Gardyners Facebook group, you mentioned you use your Gardyn for to support and feed your sweet rescue bunnies. Tell us more! (Do the bunnies have a favorite plant??)

For over a year now my rescue bunnies Pepe and Naira Hare have 100% of their daily salads home grown with the help of Kelby! It’s super important for bunnies to have greens/salad everyday as part of a healthy diet. On top of that, their diet now includes SO much variety they never had before.

Their favorites are the Cilantro, Mint, and Basil! They are not picky eaters though, and love everything I grow for them!!

What is your favorite plant to harvest right now and how do you use it?

For myself, I LOVE all the different kinds of lettuce! Salads EVERY day! I’ve always loved salads and I myself have never had such an amazing variety of different lettuce to choose from. My two favorite lettuces are the Red Salad Bowl and the Flashy Lettuce!

For the bunnies, my favorite to harvest are the edible flowers. I use them as healthy treats! 

Bubu’s favorite to harvest are the sweet peppers!

What is your most memorable Gardyning moment?

The first time I caught Bubu munching on some lettuce!

Bubu is my 22-year-old rescue parrot. We have lived together for 21 years now. She was instantly drawn to the lighting, and loves to hang out near and on top of the Gardyn so much I had to make her her own spot!! She is a very old lady (average lifespan for Indian Ringnecks is 25 years) It gives me such joy that she gets to spend her golden years spoiled!

What most surprised you about using the Gardyn?

I have never actually watched food grow, it’s an amazing and magical process! I never get tired of watching each plant go through every stage, and I love all the colors, subtle and bright. Especially the lettuce. I had no idea how beautiful some of these varieties are. I still go look at it first thing every morning to see what changed overnight. 

[It also surprised me] how EASY it is! I just love how Kelby just tells me what to do, I do it, and it grows! Honestly I was pretty skeptical at first, I’ve never been able to keep plants alive.

What advice would you give to Gardyners just starting out?

I would tell them not to get anything extra, supplements, ect until they see how the Gardyn does in their home environment. I would also suggest they try the membership, especially if they are a beginner like I was. For me personally the membership has been essential to my success, I did not want to, nor do I have the time to research anything about a hydrophobic growing system. I get so excited when Kelby tells me it’s time to order my monthly yCubes!!

Committed to inspiring the desire for healthy and sustainable living, we are proud to shine the spotlight on people using their Gardyns in creative ways and contributing positively to their communities.

Do you have a Gardyn and interested in being featured in a spotlight Q&A? Reach out to or fill out our interest form.

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