With more Australians living in apartments and garden space a limited commodity, interest in low-space food growing options has taken off. Looking to create a practical and functional option for the Australian market, brother-sister duo, Prue and Tom Bauer created the Airgarden; a slick-looking, freestanding unit that uses low-pressure aeroponics to grow a wide range of produce for home or commercial use.
To create their product, the Bauers teamed up with Queensland manufacturer, the Evolve Group, which is responsible for bringing to life other sustainable Australian inventions including the Flow Hive and Seabin.
“The key criteria in creating the Airgarden were to make it easy for everyone, make it sustainable and environmentally friendly, and not take up giant amounts of space to grow food,” Bauer said. Each unit occupies just one square meter of floor space, with a base reservoir that holds around 75 liters of water. Nutrients are added to the water which is then pumped through internal tubing to the top of the system, where it is trickled down at 15-minute intervals onto the roots of the plants.
Currently, the system plugs into a wall socket to power the pump, consuming roughly one-fourth of the energy of a residential fridge each day. However, Bauer said later iterations of the design may incorporate solar power.
“You can’t grow root vegetables like potatoes or carrots, or things that grow on trees like mangoes or apples, but anything else you can virtually grow in that system,” Bauer explained. “All you have to do is put them into the system, make sure that there’s water in there, top up your nutrients, balance your PH, and harvest.”
Already the system is being utilized by several restaurants and eliciting positive feedback from customers and chefs.
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