Edible Art: Aeroponic Wall Garden
May 20, 2016
Define yourself as having great taste in art! After all, fresh herbs snipped from your indoor wall garden steps from the cutting board is bound to give whatever you’re cooking flavor that’s hard to come by. Not to mention being packed full of way more nutritional benefits than that stuff they sell as fresh herbs at the grocery store. How about harvesting home grown cucumbers or peas when it’s 20°F outside, and you live 3 floors above the street?
While this isn’t the first time we’ve seen a wall garden designed to look as decorative as a painting, it is the first one that employs an art frame to camouflage a specially engineered vertical aeroponics unit. The automated hydroponic mist system will certainly help busy people who always forget to water plants often enough, and those who have a tendency to water too much. Neither will be a problem any longer with a Living Art Wall Garden, because it’s connected too.
The aeroponic system’s app is fully integrated. It works on both Android and iOS mobile devices to alert you via mobile when the water level gets low. Depending on what you’ve planted and the plant’s stage of growth, the reservoir will only need replenishing every 2-4 weeks – making it a very low maintenance, space-saving garden indeed. The app also gives you remote control of the LED grow light mounted to the top of the unit. Since it comes equipped with plant lighting, all those apartment and flat dwellers who have insufficient windows for providing adequate sunshine will find it a lot easier to succeed at growing fresh herbs and greens at home. It looks like it’s possible to grow small fruiting plants too. If you look closely at the top right corner on the wall garden pictured in the image at the top of this page, you’ll see that there’s a small cherry tomato plant bearing fruit.
Other features that the mobile app has to offer are; scientific information on plant growth, tutorials on how to properly operate the garden, and nutrient formula recipes stored in it for different kinds of plants. The team has plans to add live video of the plants in your garden in the future. First, they need to get production off the ground. At the moment, the Living Art Wall Garden is in the midst of their Kickstarter campaign, with about a week left to go. Hopefully, they will meet their funding goal, because there is very little room for adding a counter top model indoor garden in apartments and tiny homes!
The Wall Garden Setup
As you can see in the photo below, the system is equipped with 5 growing pods that fit securely into the frame and comes with a funnel for filling the reservoir once you’re ready to fire it up. You will need a drill and a stud finder to hang it, though they mention using a drywall anchor if there’s not a stud where you want to install your wall garden. Definitely something you will want to make sure is not going to fall off the wall!
There’s a fill spout on one side for ease of replenishing the nutrient solution. The pods are pre-loaded, requiring only saturation with plain water to start the germination process. Since seeds need no nutrients until the sprouts form a mature-shaped leaf, it’s likely all you need is pure water in the reservoir for the first week or two. Fill ‘er up, plug it in, set the light time, and you’re growing. The app tutorials will walk you through the process. A great idea for helping anyone to succeed.
Since all their roots are getting everything required to do their job from the same source, the pods are sold in 5-packs of pre-selected plant groups that thrive in the same nutrient recipe. An awesome idea for taking the guesswork out of the quotient for new-to-hydro gardeners.
How Well Does It Work?
The team of four engineers from Boston, has been successfully growing a great assortment of plants in the system for the past year as it progressed from prototype to the finished design you see in the images. They’ve had great, consistent results with herbs: Basil, Mint, Borage, Parsley, Cilantro, Rosemary, Thyme, Marjoram, and Dill. Listed greens that have done well: Lettuce, Arugula, and Kale. They have also had good luck growing: Dwarf Cucumbers, Dwarf Peas, and Cherry Tomatoes. Plus they are working on perfecting growing strawberries and flowering plants in the aeroponic garden.
Imagine how cool it would be growing a patch of constantly blooming flowers on the wall all dreary winter long. Having something super fragrant like Sweet Alyssum in flowering away on the wall while the snow piles up outside? Not edible, but mood elevating for the sun-starved during the cloudy cold season. Certainly a lot more budget-friendly than a trip to the tropics.
The Decorator Touch
Unlike most other compact indoor garden systems, you have color and style options with a Living Art Wall Garden. There’s an assortment of interchangeable frames to pick from! So, if you decide to swap out the colors in your living area decorating, it might be possible to purchase a new frame to maintain a coordinated look. Definitely something to ask about if you dash over to the campaign page and pledge. You’ll find more info about this cool new indoor wall garden, and a peek at variety of frames you can get if you’re one of the first adopters. Switching frames is a cinch – they are magnetized.
Learn more on their Kickstarter page, but hurry if you want faster than next year. Funding closes May 30, 2016. You’ll also find images of the wall garden prototypes on the Living Arts website. All images on this page are courtesy of Living Arts, LLC.
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