How do you grow food in – or next to – a city without using soil? It’s exactly that question that Berlin-based start-up Lite+Fog is trying to answer. The company uses fog to grow plants more efficiently. In this episode of start-up of the day, Martin Peter, co-founder of this company, speaks about the big ambitions he has with Lite+Fog. “I’m watching the plants grow as we do this interview”, Peter says enthusiastically.

“We combine multiple innovations and proprietary solutions to a farming concept that adds economy and movement to vertical farming. With Lite+Fog, we want to provide vertical farmers with more added value, cheaper farming systems and increased crop yields compared to traditional hydroponics.”

“Our first product, the Model M, is practically a botanical laboratory for fogponics. The main advantage of fogponics is that it doesn’t require any nozzles, piping, or soil to feed the plants. Fogponics uses suspended water that is enriched with nutrients to deliver nutrients and oxygen to plant roots by dispersing it via ultrasound in the form of tiny floating droplets. This is ideal for the plants and gives them an extra boost of oxygen. Model M is 3 meters high, 2 meters wide and 1 meter deep and has space for 450 plants or more on rotating planters. It also provides a completely controlled environment where you can grow any plant you want, even very rare ones.”

There are more vertical farms. What makes Lite+Fog so unique?
“Our mist is created by ultrasonic waves. Our trade secret is how we can do that on a large scale. Then rotation is used, which is important to bring our growing columns closer together and save a lot of energy. They’re comprised of bendable textiles and have a hollow interior, making them very easy to handle. This way we can utilize four times more space than other vertical farms, which is complemented by lower energy consumption and lower material costs. Think about replacing all that steel – which sometimes accounts for eighty percent of the cost of setting up these farms – with textiles instead.”

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