DIY vertical garden helps feed local communities

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Designed by SPACE10 as part of the Ikea Lab idea development program, the Growroom is an open source vertical garden. Described by SPACE10 as an urban farm pavilion, Growrooms are 2.8 by 2.5 meters in size, and are designed specifically for effectiveness in small urban spaces. Sphere-shaped, the structure’s design allows light and water to reach every level of the garden while still providing shade and shelter for visitors within.

As part of its goal of increasing local food sustainability, the design for Growrooms is available online from SPACE10 as a set of 17 downloadable steps. Rather than ship the pieces around the world, local makers need only the most basic tools to construct the garden, and the entire structure is made out of plywood, a material that is generally fairly easily accessed worldwide.

Helping communities become more agriculturally self-sustainable is an urgent global challenge. In The Netherlands, a leading supermarket has created an in-store herb garden to allow customers to pick only what they need. And in a converted shipping container, an entire off-grid toolkit is available for groups to set up a community farm. How could such projects be combined to create the ideal scenario of no waste, carbon-neutral sustainable food cycles?

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