Former frat boys aim to put automated organic farming directly into households to cut environmental and financial costs,
Dissatisfied with the current state of food production/consumption, MIT alums Gabe Blanchet and Jamie Byron found a solution that will produce farm-fresh foods right in the home with a smartphone-controlled kitchen appliance.
After successfully implementing the idea in their fraternity, Blanchet and Byron went on to found Grove Labs in Somerville, Massachusetts and developed a web connected automation platform called Grove OS that helps commercial indoor farmers more easily monitor and control variables that influence crop growth. The company hopes to bring the Grove OS system into homes by building an aquaponics-based home appliance to make food truly local.
The Grove home appliance will look like a set of cabinets comprising of stackable plant modules, so individuals can choose to plant as much or little as they like. The appliance will also contain a fish tank, which provides the necessary nutrients for the aquaponics system, and since no soil is required for this type of planting, there is no mess to worry about.
All planting will be automated with Grove OS, and variables like temperature, moisture, and pH levels are controllable on a smartphone. Users will also be able to purchase plants through the mobile app.
According to Blanchet:
We imagine that people will start small with a micro-greens on their counter-tops, and then over time, they’ll have a full sized appliance. Our vision eventually is they take over whole pantries or rooms, where they can grow 50% or more of their family’s food right in their home.
The Grove Home Farming Appliance is available for pre-orders on their website now, and production is expected to be complete by end of next year.
[h/t] Fast Company