High tech meets high need in these three prototypes that could change the way we grow our leafy greens. Each is self contained, automated, highly space-efficient, and very water conservative. Will any of these systems end up in your living room or backyard? Who knows, but they're pretty cool. Read more below.
Built by a self-proclaimed hacker, the GrowCube can be programmed with custom growing instructions for any of the available plants that can grow in its unique trays. Obviously anything with a large root structure would be too big for this system, but the inventor claims to have grown, lettuce, herbs, and flowers with ease. Even cooler, because the GrowCube is completely sealed once the seeds are planted, the unit becomes pressurized and can keep out any pests that would want to get in and wreak havoc.
Unfortunately, the GrowCube was last seen in 2013 and has yet to resurface on the internet. Last heard they were gearing up for 100 test units. Here's their Facebook link and another to a news article featuring the GrowCube. Try reaching out!
If we allow ourselves to dream for a minute, what's even more exciting about a product like the Omega Garden is its potential use in urban agriculture. Check out the video below. It highlights Omega Garden's Farmdominium concept in which a series of automated Omega Gardens are all stacked for peak efficiency in a vertical structure. According to their video, even large cities would only require a few Farmdominiums to provide the entire city population with fresh, local produce. That's cool.
Really, check out the video below (it's only 1:40) and let us know what you think. Is this within the realm of possibility of us seeing within the next 100 years or are we more likely to just see something like this in the next Star Trek movie?
Using hydroponics, Freight Farms dramatically reduces the water and space needs to grow plants, specifically lettuce. This is a very attractive business strategy for areas that are far from the lettuce producing states of the country -- California and Arizona.
Even though I live in California and in the urban foodie paradise, otherwise known as Berkeley, there's an empty lot around the block corner from me that could certainly use a Freight Farm. Check out their website.