As the vertical hydroponic and home gardening markets see significant changes, more big players are entering the market and investing in large-scale farms, with the home gardening segment growing considerably during these COVID years. Palram Industries is one of these companies capitalizing on the increasing popularity of the aforementioned segments.
“Palram Industries is an Israeli company founded mainly by an agriculture-based community village, “Kibbutz”, called Ramat Yohanan,” says Amnon Manneberg, Project Manager at Palram. “Since the company’s inception, we have focused on agricultural solutions for growers worldwide, and later on we expanded into urban farming, and home gardening too.”
Proleafy soft-launched in the last quarter of 2021. “This was to test the market,” Amnon points out. “Even though we haven’t invested in marketing yet, we experience tremendous market interest, and the order volume is exceeding our expectations. This positive interest level supports our optimism and sales expectations for this year and beyond.”
Palram’s solutions have been widely circulating between commercial and hobby greenhouses globally. “About two years ago, we decided to take the next step and bring innovative solutions for the urban indoor grower as well,” he continues. The concept is to enable home growers to grow their own healthy, and fresh greens while enjoying the growing process.
Thus, Palram has developed Proleafy. This unit is an NFT hydroponic growing cabinet with 60 plant growing spots. The cabinet is controlled by a dedicated mobile app through which a user can monitor and control his units remotely. Proleafy is an open architecture, meaning you can bring your own growing media, seeds or seedling, as well as hydroponic fertilizer.
Suitable for living areas
The company came up with the design of these growing cabinets by following a couple of principles. “Early in the development process, we defined our two major goals,” he says. Having a substantial yield for the device footprint, and maximizing user convenience and pleasant design that could fit into living areas.
As a result, Palram developed a few unique concepts to simplify the home user experience. Like its patented detachable growing cassettes that can be easily removed and cleaned in a household dishwasher.
Wide crops assortment
Proleafy is about 125cm tall, 60cm wide, and 57 cm deep. The cabinet is divided into three growing floors, with 20 plants each. The lighting schedule and spectrum can be adjusted for each floor through the mobile application. Every floor has five cassettes, each of which with four growing holes.
Proleafy successfully cultivated all kinds of leafy greens like lettuce, arugula, spinach, kale, parsley, dill, mint, basil, and many more. It also proved itself to be successful at growing cherry tomatoes, strawberries, chili peppers, radishes, and other smaller greens.
At the same time, Proleafy has a certain degree of flexibility, and it does afford some tinkering. As Amnon explains, “We would like to encourage our growers to experiment with their mix of produce that fits their own needs and tastes. For example, when growing lettuce only, you can expect a lettuce head every day if you stagger and maintain the growing schedule.”
On the other hand, most users like to have a semi-permanent floor of greens that users can harvest multiple times, like mint, dill, and parsley, while using a couple of floors for lettuce.
Proleafy has been designed with user-friendliness as one of the top priorities. The system allows for easy detachment of the growing trays for cleaning and handling.
On top of that, it is possible to control every single growing parameter through the mobile app: from the spectrum and timing of the lights, the pump’s power, and duty cycle, to the air exchange system. The cabinet comes fully assembled and ready to use, with no proprietary, expansive material preventing proper maintenance.