“Our current system is so broken; we have long supply chains, we’re shipping heads of lettuce all over the country, we’re importing fruits, and we have the capacity to be growing a lot more of our own food,” Hank Adams, founder of Rise Gardens says. “The real mission behind doing this was that I wanted people to be able to grow year-round.”
The Rise Gardens system solves all these problems with a fully automated hydroponic kit that is easy to assemble and even easier to run. The systems grow seed pods for produce including root vegetables, nightshades, greens, and herbs, and over time, roots will grow from the pods into the water below. When water levels get too low, an LED indicator flashes red. The end result is free of pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides.
“After they get the system up and running, customers can get as creative with it as they want,” said Adams. “In this sense, we really set out to make it like a real garden and give people the opportunity to be creative.”
The Rise Gardens system was designed for individual consumers, who remain the company’s primary customers. An alternative use has been in offices, where some companies have gardens growing as a perk for employees to be able to harvest fresh food for their lunches, as well as to beautify the setting with some living greens.
A third common landing spot for Rise Gardens is schools. The educational application of these products is compelling, as Rise Gardens products serve as self-contained demonstration systems for unpacking in-classroom gardening. Teachers can use the systems to explore, experiment, and explain how plants grow. Adams says the nutrient solution opens up learning possibilities for more advanced students who may want to explore the chemistry behind the nutrients, and how pH affects nutrient uptake."
Looking forward, Adams says the company will focus on expanding the diversity of what can be grown in a Rise Gardens unit. This means making the system able to grow all sorts of different plants, including micro-greens. Part of this challenge is creating new seed pods. Then there’s the work of getting people to embrace new and unfamiliar edible plants. “We get about 90% of our vegetable nutrition from 30 plants,” Adams says. “We want people to experiment and have fun.”
Read the complete article at www.qz.com.