You don't have to be an herbivore like me to dream of one day having your own lush garden. Many of us have been culturally swayed towards dumping gallons of water and fertilizers for pristine

Garden of Serenity: Don't Buy Your Food, Grow It

You don't have to be an herbivore like me to dream of one day having your own lush garden. Many of us have been culturally swayed towards dumping gallons of water and fertilizers for pristine lawns but changes are coming, yardening is gaining a higher following.

Yardening is when, instead of using water, time and resources to grow a green lawn, homeowners or renters (with awesome landlords) grow food in their front yards. I'm hoping this catches on for a number of reasons, however, a glaring issue with the yardening phenomenon is that it's not possible for everyone.

Those of us who have limited mobility, no yards, shared yards or poor climates might find it difficult to impossible to grow own on food... or so we thought.

Introducing German startup, neofarms. Neofarms gives everyone (in theory) the ability to grow their own little food garden, right from inside their home. How does it work? NeoFarms uses hydroponics, a technique you're probably familiar with.

This kind of hydroponics is called aeroponics and it's a special method of growing plants without soil, it's actually the technique that NASA uses to grow plants as well. Their fully automated system relieves the user of the most tedious efforts that come along with growing your own food and makes it possible for the user to have an easily manageable vertical garden right in their home.

Introducing households and professional kitchens to the revolution of aeroponics, neoFarms is developing the appliance that grows your favorite greens automatically. Hassle-free, highly productive and fits in your kitchen or living space.

With neoFarm, users can grow herbs, vegetables, and fruits right from their kitchen as their device mists the plants with the perfect amount of water needed to grow them. Since they are in a controlled environment, there is no need for pesticides, nor do weather, bugs, drought or 'pests' (like deer or moles) bother the plants.

The result is lush, organic veggies right inside your home! They can be harvested by the user, who then becomes a kind of urban 'farmer,' making meals from 'farm' to table. Did the word farmer intimidate you there? Have no fear, their device is designed for you to take the credit of glorious veggies and fruits, while their closed system does all the work. No green thumb needed!

All you have to do is decide which plants you want to grow and load cartridges in the machine. You don't even have to carry around buckets of water or a hose, thanks to the aeroponic system.

This could be a big deal to many homes. Say you're the kind of person who's stuck in a small home, in the middle of the city and would love the opportunity to love and nurture some plants (without killing them), here's your chance!

Suppose you feel a loss of autonomy and control due to laws which restrict your right to grow food on your lawn or the lack of a lawn altogether, a solution is here!

All growth factors, mist, nutrition, light, temperature, and humidity are applied by the machine so no special expertise is needed by the user. The machine requires very little maintenance, the tank is refilled every one or two weeks and the nutrient cartridges last over three months before having to be exchanged. Users can choose to have their farms be as large or as small as they prefer.

We want to give everyone the chance to cultivate fresh and healthy products in the own kitchen. Thereby, we are giving every household a certain degree of autonomy back.

Since you grow your own food, you know how it's been treated, you know it's organic and you can harvest the vegetables and fruits immediately, meaning the taste is fresher and packed with more nutrients.

Since you don't have to drive or bus to the market each time you need food, nor do you contribute directly to the consumption of food which is driven, in some cases, hundreds of miles to your destination, your environmental footprint is lower.

Another advantage is the lessening of your food waste footprint. It was recently revealed that much-unsold food is tossed, either because it hasn't been sold by a certain date or because it's too small, irregularly shaped or "ugly" for consumers.

This is one of my favorite startups so far, besides the vegan food ones of course. The freedom to grow whatever you want, combined with the ability to control your impact on the Earth and your own body is what makes neoFarms a touch of genius.

neofarms.com