Not everyone has the time or space for gardening. Picking your dinner straight from the backyard plot or container garden is definitely rewarding and healthy, but it does require a designated area and continual maintenance.
For horticulturists that want to have all the benefits of fresh grown produce but without the worry of weeds, insects or having to keep up an outdoor area, hydroponic growing can be a perfect option.
One indoor system has covered all the bases when it comes to a home hydroponic garden.
The Niwa is a kit that works along with an app to grow fresh produce simply, naturally and with a dash of fun, too.
Niwa blends gardening with modern technology by performing in combination with a smartphone and personalized app to become an automated, omniscient attendant that will track, manage and help to educate the grower of their selected plants. The interactive system comes with user selected seeds and nutrients to start, and once programmed, agricultural ambition begins.
It works by employing sensors and actuators that recreate a plant’s natural outdoor growing conditions. The hydroponic unit provides climate and lighting control, and schedules irrigation and nutrient administration. It is said to make gardening more accessible, and reportedly will grow vegetables, a range of fruits and herbs, houseplants, flowers and even some tropical varieties.
Users can also develop and share their own growing programs. Some maintenance is required, which involves a bit of withered leaf removal, water replacement, adding nutrients and cleaning the system’s reservoir. The upkeep is monitored by the app, which alerts when the tasks are needed.
The creators of Niwa remind that food products can travel a long way before ending up with the purchaser. This drives up the price as more energy and operational resources are needed, but it can also lend to diminished quality and freshness, as well as increased exposure to chemical contaminants and preservatives. Additionally, household food waste from tossed, unused food contributes to budget busting behaviors for grocery shoppers.
The product’s intention, in addition to organic cultivation, is to also incorporate self-sufficiency and the positive vibe that comes along with tending to a garden. Starting with the name, the developers point out that niwa 庭 is the Japanese word for simply garden, with a literal translation of pure place. Niwa’s ease of use can allow one to become niwa shi, or a garden master, right in their own home.
Niwa can be seen on Kickstarter as the project looks to expand to urbanites and year-round gardeners. The designers intend to further develop the system to include options for growing root vegetables and also by innovating ways of combining various sized indoor gardens into everyday features, like tables and shelving.
It would be nice to have a flavorful homegrown tomato in the middle of winter, or a creamy butter leaf lettuce for a dinner salad without having to hunt it down at the market.
Ideas that invite nature indoors and provide solutions that encourage healthier lifestyles are much needed concepts.
All images are © and were provided courtesy of Niwa.
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