Innovation That Matters

App-controlled, vertical farming for limited indoor space


New smart farming system uses a vertical hydroponics set-up that allows growers to make best use of limited space and monitor their plants via app.

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For city dwellers worldwide, finding space to grow their own herbs, vegetables and flowers is a near-constant search. Athens-based CityCrop has created a smart solution. Using vertical hydroponics (a growing system based on water, not soil), growers can farm a variety of crops indoors and with minimal square footage. The vertical farm is completely climate controlled, uses LED lights to promote rapid growth and connects to the app with wifi, making it easy for farmers to manage their crops remotely.

The app provides full control over the care of the plants, allowing for adjustments to water cycles, humidity, temperature and lighting. Should a problem crop up, the community of users can provide advice and tips, and a plant doctor is on hand to diagnose via photograph. Each farm contains two trays that hold 12 plants each, and CityCrop provides certified organic seeds with each order. The first farms are expected to ship in September 2017.

Community gardens are another method urban growers are using to get closer to their food. In Sweden a green pavilion not only grows food for locals, it provides a shady place to rest and relax, and a bigger project in the US can feed up to 150 people and includes all necessary equipment for off-grid, smart food management. What are the common ingredients needed for up-scaling production amongst all such successful community farm projects?




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