Just about everyone who has had a grade school science class is familiar with hydroponics. Take just water and put a small plant in it and greenery will grow without soil. I have carrot top and various other plants in just water. I even started an avocado tree.
Large scale hydroponics uses a lot of water in addition to nutrients added so the plants will be strong and not like the puny little things we did in science class. Chris Beauvois had a great idea to grow food in air and he calls his invention GrowCube. Yes, growing in air could use less water – 95% – that’s for sure!
Actually, the process, called aeroponics, does use some water, but very little compared to hydroponics which loses a lot of water to evaporation. Chris’ idea was to use a perpetual mist inside a closed environment. The mist is laden with nutrients and this keeps the plants well fed until it is time for the harvest.
The machinery looks simple, even childish. It appears to be a model of an amusement park ride. The construction is primarily out of plastic and has long and wide trays instead of the traditional Ferris wheel buckets. Each tray contains a large amount of tiny buckets where the seedlings are matured. They ride around in a mist as in a horror movie, partially obscured by the fog.
The most complicated feature is the software, which controls the mist nutrients and light to raise the food in a customized environment. Paired with purpose-designed sensor, the software application tells you when to add various nutrients. One just needs to take care of the equipment, perform tasks the software requests, and enjoy the food.
The great advantage aeroponics has is that all the growing could be done in a dark warehouse or any other place indoors. You do not need to have access to a patch of dirt to grow your food. On top of this, Chris expects the unit to eventually be available for just $500!
Take a look at the GrowCube in the video below.