by Amber

Instant Green Thumb: HUI!

You tried growing veggies at home and failed? Don’t toss in the towel. The difference between a brown thumb and a green one is pretty simple. You have to give the plant the right environment and care, which does take some trial and error… But now you can tap into a green thumb mastermind, and succeed at growing your own food anywhere. It doesn’t matter how little you know about growing plants of any kind.

A high five to the Grow & Help team in Madrid for inventing the smart approach to vegetable gardening – the HUI!. It knows everything about any edible plant, which is what you need to make sure you’ll get an excellent harvest. Of course, knowing all there is to learn about a particular plant doesn’t guarantee you’ll never have a crop failure. Even the most seasoned gardeners have messed up. It’s very easy to get so busy you forget to water or fertilize when you should. Of course, those aren’t the only reasons that a garden doesn’t do well, because plants have specific needs, and when things are off, the results are less than stellar. But this smart outdoor gardening gadget will help you conquer all the challenges.

Last December, Javier decided he wanted to grow vegetables at home. His little balcony garden failed. Why? A mystery he would love to know the answer to. It occurred to he wasn’t the only urban gardener facing the same problem, there were plenty of others out there wondering exactly what he was. And so the idea to create an intelligent device to assist a person from start to finish developed. Javi didn’t waste anytime figuring out how such a gadget would work, and what it could do for people who want to grow their own food at home in any location.

By February the team began testing prototypes, and in June they had finalized the HUI! design. Next they gave working models to family and friends for further testing. In September they were at the Maker Faire in New York City showing their nifty urban garden invention off to everyone. It was a big hit, and the Kickstarter campaign to get funding to begin production launched just the other day.

As fundraising campaigns go, this isn’t one that will leave you wondering if it will succeed and become a reality. The HUI! surpassed it’s funding goal in a less than 5 days. That’s pretty impressive. It will be exciting to see just how much additional money they can raise over the next 3 weeks. Obviously, many would-be urban gardeners are eager to harvest fresh food on their terrace, balcony, or patio.

Exactly What Is A HUI!?

Easy Way to Grow VegetablesIt’s artificial intelligence designed for the new urban gardener that will measure all the critical environmental factors in the very spot you want to grow vegetables, and monitor these parameters from seeding to harvest. The device is totally weatherproof – you can use it outdoors or indoors. It communicates through WIFI with an app on your iPhone or Android allowing you to stay on top of caring your plants all the time, no matter where you happen to be.

HUI! is your personal garden guru, available 24/7 to help you grow a healthy, abundant harvest of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and bee-friendly flowers. It’s not just a static database available in certain languages like so many gardening apps are.  It can understand you through Natural Language Processing algorithms to provide very specific information, and uses Automatic Reasoning to give you logical management of that info too.

What Does HUI! Do?

It helps you choose crops that will thrive where you want your garden to be. The built-in sensors measure available sunlight, soil moisture, and ambient temperature – all crucial to the environment a plant will thrive or fail in. The app tells you what crops you will be able to grow really well in a specific spot, helps you properly sow the seed, and care for your growing plants. And if your plants aren’t looking so good, it can help you figure out what the problem might be. The device also sends you alerts when your garden needs attention. You can monitor conditions for up to 3 crops at a time with an extension for your HUI! – but it seems this can be expanded since the largest Early Bird package comes with 10 devices/sets.

No electricity needed – it’s runs on batteries that will last for 2 years. Since you’ll need to leave the device in your container, it makes perfect sense that they designed it as a plant marker too. The front has a chalkboard circle so you can label your different crops in a way that the rain and sun won’t erase, and it’s easy to change with whenever you start a new crop. A nifty idea!

You’re Not Alone

They’re shipping worldwide, so wherever you are, you’re in the right place to get a virtual garden assistant. You can communicate with other urban farmers and gardeners through the HUI! community. It’s all about having a positive impact on your neighborhood and everyone else’s  with eating local, growing your own, and supporting our pollinators, and communicating with others who share these interests.

Grow & Help is concerned about the future; for people and the environment. They want to do what they can to make the world a better place with more green space in cities, keeping pollinators friendly, reducing our carbon footprint, and helping people in third world countries become self-sufficient. Currently developing an agricultural project that will give a community in Nigeria the means to grow their own food. It’s just the first such project they want to take on, and the HUI! will be front and center on every one of these missions to change the food situation in communities in need. You can keep track of their progress as a HUI! user through the social part of your app.

Pretty Cool?

We thought so. Its difficult to learn how to grow well if you don’t have someone to turn to for some guidance, and in the urban environment it could be difficult to connect with someone who can really help you succeed. HUI! could change everything for many newcomers to growing your own in the city.

Learn More

Get a closer look at this awesome new gadget, and how it works on their Kickstarter page. If you hurry, you can reserve an Early Adopter’s special at a discount too. Don’t delay – they’re going fast. If you know Spanish, you might find the teams Facebook page interesting.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


The garden played a starring role from spring through fall in the house Amber was raised in. She has decades of experience growing plants from seeds and cuttings in the plot and pots.