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Smart System Developed to Grow Vegetables in House

Smart System Developed to Grow Vegetables in House

Tuesday, 9 April, 2019 - 06:00
Vegetables are seen in vegetarian restaurant in Minsk, Belarus, Feb. 1, 2018. (Reuters)
London - Asharq Al-Awsat
If you like the idea of growing your own vegetables indoors all year round, then you should check out the new and improved OGarden Smart.

It is a rotating Ferris wheel of sorts that can hold up to 60 plants at various stages of growth.

The wheel turns steadily, dipping the roots into water at the bottom and exposing the plants steadily to a 120 watt LED in the center.

Planting cups

Seedlings are started in handy seed cups filled with organic soil and fertilizer, 30 of which can fit into the incubator located below the rotating upper part. These are also automatically watered, and all you have to do is ensure the water reservoir stays full. It can go up to 10 days and a warning will pop up if you forget.

Once they sprout, the cups go into the wheel and grow until they're ready to be harvested. The entire process takes 30-40 days, after which the seed cups and plant roots can be composted, and the gap in the wheel filled with a new seedling.

The appeal of this system lies not just in its ease of use, but in the steady production that allows a household to eat continuously from its OGarden.

Talking about the invention, the developers said: "We looked into other hydroponic solutions, but they only allowed us to grow a few herbs in the kitchen and did not really made a difference in our food expense. Everything we grew was gone in one to two meals."

With 60 plants approaching harvest and 30 sprouting below, you're able to have a continuous supply of fresh produce.

"There are 90 available spots, so with a good rotation, you can have 2-4 large vegetables a day, every day,” said the developers.

When asked about competing space for larger plants, a TreeHugger spokesperson said each plant has about a 30 cm of vertical length to grow, so you'd have to harvest once the height hits the center green "O". Each plant is encapsulated into a self-contained pod which includes the soil and seed, so the plants are firmly rooted.

These pods are then locked into place, so there isn't risk of the larger vegetables falling out.

Fresh vegetables

OGarden boasts the ability to grow everything from kale, celery, Swiss chard, and strawberries, to sweet and hot peppers, cherry tomatoes, green onions and plenty of herbs.

There are 20 different kinds to choose from and they can be grown simultaneously.

What about cost? The OGarden isn’t cheap, retailing for CAD$1,463 (USD$1,095). But its creators point out that it produces organic vegetables at a fraction of what you’d pay in a grocery store, approximately 70 cents per plant.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, it costs a family of four an average of $850 per month for groceries. OGarden Smart can save you up to 80 percent on your veggie expenses, allowing you to cut down your grocery bill.

According to this calculation, the OGarden could pay for itself within a few months.

This new OGarden is an update on the original design that launched in 2017 after a successful campaign that lured 268 supporters for investment. After listening to feedback, the OGarden has been redesigned to feature automatic watering, automatic LED lighting, ten-day water autonomy, water warning system and a more compact design. It measures 53″ tall x 29″ wide x 15″ deep. Empty weight is 27.6 kg, full weight is 45.3 kg.

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