Well, besides putting potting soil in a container and sewing some seeds.
InFarm’s microgarden crowdfunding campaign campaign closed a few days ago, and was beyond a success. They recieved over 170% of the funding they asked for to create and distribute their little growing gadget. InFarm is an urban farming/cafe company from Germany.
It’s probably the only indoor garden you’ll ever see that fits inside a manila envelope. The seeds, the propagator, the growth media… it all ships flat in a standard envelope. A big cost savings there.
The problem with potting soil is it needs rewetting regularly for the plants to survive. InFarm’s microgarden uses a gel that remains hydrated for the life of the crop. At least from what can be learned by reading their information, and common sense, because their little garden is designed to grow plants for a maximum of 2 weeks. That’s how long it takes from seeding to harvest for microgreens. Some types of plants reach this stage faster than others, but all of them need no nutrient for this type of growing, so plain old gel works great.
The InFarm microgarden looks like a fun little project. I love the origami look, and it’s transparency will keep everyone fascinated. But as a garden, it certainly won’t do much toward alleviating hunger. It’s just not large enough to create a meal. What it will do is get a lot more people hooked on growing fresh food. One taste of just picked flavor, and they will be in a hurry to produce more. Unfortunately, it won’t be quite as simple or compact as this sleek, ultra modern little greenhouse gadget makes it. Still, growing microgreens by the tray is just as fast, and almost just as easy, though it won’t be so utterly clean.
You don’t need a grow light to keep yourself in microgreens. A germination tray with a dome – better make that 2 trays, so you’ll have a fresh tray of greens to harvest from every week. You can keep the greens free of potting mix by enveloping the media inside a stretch of paper toweling. Just sew the seen directly on top of pre-moistened potting mix and towel cover, sprinkle your seeds on top pretty heavily. Cover it with the dome and watch your garden grow.
It’s best to put the tray in a dark place for 3 days. You can cover it with a dark towel. Then let the sprouts find light. Put them in a sunny window sill. Harvest by cutting with sheers, or simply pull them roots and all. You’ll be able to re-use the soil and paper towel over again without doing much but making sure it’s nice and wet and then reseeding for the new crop. Once you empty a tray, sow it over again to keep the supply coming.
Want to know more about InFarm and their nifty micro greenhouse garden? Visit their Indigogo Page. It doesn’t look like they plan on selling them long term, their website doesn’t list them as a product. Too bad, it’s a great idea for inspiring more people to get busy growing their own, or to frequent urban farms for their food.