I am a culinary school grad and a part-time caterer and so I know what herbs should taste like. It must be something in the liquid soil, but the herbs that come out of this taste awful and metallic. I grew two separate crops thinking that something was wrong with the first one. The second one tasted terrible, too. I mean, they taste like a mercury thermometer that I accidentally bit on as a kid. It was just gross all the way around. I had several friends try the herbs too. I tried repeatedly to use them. I served a salad with a few sprigs of these herbs included just to test them at a dinner and everyone complained about the pungent, off-putting flavor that the few sprigs lent to the dish. So this isn't just me.
I thought, "OK, I'll grow some flowers." But the reality is that for the increase in electricity that this requires, I can buy at least two bouquets of fresh flowers each month. This increased my electricity bill by nearly $20 per month over my average consumption for the same period last year. This was pointed out to me by a friend who works for the local power company said that these devices are notorious power consumers.
I got this as a gift from someone who knows that I am a cook but who has not been to my home. It was a well meaning gesture. But the reality is that I have been growing herbs in pots for years in my little, urban kitchen window without any real difficulty. I do have an inexpensive grow light to nurture along newcomers or to extend the "day" during the winter by three or four hours. Those taste great. It isn't that hard. You don't need to spend nearly $200 to grow herbs in your kitchen that taste bad.