Cultivate This: New Indoor Garden "The Grove" Gives You A Mini Ecosystem

Want a garden, but you're stuck in a postmodern (or pre-modern) cube/tomb of an apartment with no sunlight and certainly no arable land?  Worry not, for a new invention called The Grove can bring you a relative abundance of plant life, all in the comfort of your own home...

If you traded all your bookshelves for e-reading, here's your perfect futuristic home furnishing.
(Image courtesy treehugger.com.)



According to treehugger.com, The Grove is a "smart" garden that is just large enough to fit in your living room and still look at home.  The triple-layered Grove has full-spectrum LED lights to impersonate sunshine, coaxing small plants such as greens, peppers, tomatoes, strawberries, and herbs from the soil in the taller top layer.



Yes, you don't have to ask, obviously weed will grow in it, too.
(Image courtesy kickstarter.com.)

The middle layer is designed to abet the sprouting of seedlings, which would make the first strides for larger plants or maintain a good environment for short crops like wheatgrass or super-dwarf wheat, like NASA wants to grow on long space missions.  Think of it as one small step towards your future life on Mars.

Best of all is the bottom layer:  a 25-gallon fish tank.  The fish are integral to the "aquaponic" growing process, as their waste (feces and ammonia) produces nitrates that help to fertilize the plants.  The plants, in turn, keep the water clean from their usage of the wastes.  The fish are happy, the plants are happy, and your belly will probably be happy (The Grove can grow the food for you, but unless you're really into salad or robot chefs, you still have to cook it yourself.)


Grow your own sushi AND salad!
(Image courtesy cnbc.com.)

The "smart" part of The Grove isn't just the ecological excellence - the entire garden can be controlled via your phone.  Enter which plants you've decided to nurture into the attendant app, and it automatically configures the necessary lighting specifications.  It gives updates on harvesting, fish tank needs, and other elements of the system.  So even if you don't have a green thumb, all you have to have is a finger for tapping the app to make sure everything's growing well.

It's like one of those Facebook games where you farm...except for real.
(Image courtesy kickstarter.com.)

Once up and running, The Grove could provide a constant supply of greens, with the creators reporting that "...a user can expect to harvest the equivalent of two to three bags of salad greens every week or eight to 10 heads of lettuce every 20 days."  We're not sure what that translates to for fruits or cannabis, but give it a try!  With results appearing 50-75% faster than an outdoor garden, at 50% greater density (2 times more productive per square foot than outdoor gardening), you'll have a feast  - or something to give you the munchies - in no time!

The Grove is currently on Kickstarter at an early-bird price of $2,700, though it may eventually retail for around $4,500.  Yes, it's pricy, but it's not bad, for a self-sustaining and self-maintaining food source that could live in your kitchen!  If you like keeping things local, and know that freshness isn't just a descriptor for cool sneakers, get into the groove of The Grove.

Hot peppers ALL DAY.  All yours.
(Image courtesy cayennediane.com.)

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