Estonia-based 'Click and Grow' previews its latest 'smart garden' at the IFA tech fair in Berlin, a window box for the the modern age that grows vegetables and herbs automatically. Matthew Stock reports.
Growing your own vegetables and herbs can be a laborious process. Lack of space in urban environments makes it even harder. But this smart garden is bringing the window box into the modern age. Much like Nespresso coffee capsules, users 'plant' this soil pod... containing the seeds and all the nutrients which are released in sync with the plant's life cycle. SOUNDBITE (English) KAREL KASK, SALES MANAGER, CLICK AND GROW, SAYING: "This is the plastic container they put the growing substrate in here. It has a wick solution, so basically it starts to drain the water from the water tank, and the lamp does the rest of the job. The lamp imitates daylight time, so it's 16 hours on and 8 hours off. So far we have tested some 7,000 different plants and each growing substrate is designed specifically for this plant." Estonia-based 'Click and Grow' says it's tested up to a thousand lighting solutions to ensure optimal growth. The red and white lights deliver the perfect spectrum they say, speeding up growth by 30 to 50 percent, depending on the plant. Each soil pod provides up to 3 harvests. 'Click and Grow' was inspired by NASA technology used to grow food in space. Here, astronauts aboard the International Space Station sample lettuce they've grown. SOUNDBITE (English) KAREL KASK, SALES MANAGER FO CLICK AND GROW, SAYING: "They're using quite similar soil-based solutions; so they take the soil substrate into space and grow them already in there. They have an automated watering solution. So it's quite similar to the solution that we do." The Smart Garden 9, its latest and most advanced model, was displayed at this week's IFA tech fair in Berlin.