It’s 2016 and we all should stop buying basil from Morocco, sweet potato from the US or grapes from Chili when all these things grow closer to home too. But how do you step out of the economic cycle driven by supermarkets without cutting on things you love eating?
Well, there are several options. You could use Google to find out if you can find farmers close to home. Or you could contact your local supermarket and find out if they are willing to change their supply chain. After all, they want to keep their customers happy. But you could also simply grow your own.
Is growing your own ‘simple’? Is farming or foraging something you can do living on the third floor in an Amsterdam apartment with a small and windy balcony? Yes, it is and yes you can, thanks to a technique called ‘hydroponic’. The Plantui is created in Finland and it allows anyone to grow food plants up to 2 meters in height, from kale and tomatoes to basil and violets. Without any SOIL. In your LIVING ROOM. Really amazing.
The shape reminds me of a design version of a mushroom and it’s built with technology that recognizes the growth period of each plant and automatically adjusts its light (from bright pink to a rainbow of colors) and watering schedule to your crop. When it’s time to go to bed for us, the Plantui switches off its light and by the time we wake-up, the light is on again. For me, it’s more hi-tec than a computer.
It is magical watching nature grow from something as tiny as a seed, and it’s also a lesson in patience: it takes 4 weeks to harvest kale and rocket and around 10 weeks for thyme and violets.
PS They have a very nice customer service too, which for me is very important.