Click & Grow 25 is the latest project by former orchestra conductor Mattias Lepp who felt that the idea of indoor gardens — essentially, a farmer’s market in a box — would be just the tool for staving off future food shortages. His company, founded in 2018, raised $US11 ($14) million to develop new materials and hardware technologies for indoor gardens. Now, he and the Click & Grow team are taking the tools they used to build large-scale gardens and bringing them into the home.
Lepp calls his tech “hyper-local farming,” and he claims that what he and his team created is entirely unique.
“We’re the only ones in both vertical farming and smaller indoor growing device segment who have figured out how to provide the future of sustainable food while being profitable and having a global reach,” he said. “Compared to big vertical farms we’ve looked at what’s the real problem of vitamin-rich foods like leafy greens — it’s the overly long supply chains that produce waste, nutritional degradation, and transport emissions. The greens from vertical farms still go through the traditional food supply chain, albeit they’re fresher, cleaner, and come from a more local urban farm, they sit in stores, get moved around and half go to waste in a dark corner of a fridge. Unlike vertical farms, we’ve taken a step out of the traditional supply chain and figured out the only sustainable solution, both in terms of nature and business, and that is growing food at the place of consumption.”
The Click & Grow 25, which is currently available through Kickstarter, costs $US399 ($509) for early birds and consists of a frame, containers, and lights. The plants grow out of coffee-pod-like earth nuggets and the whole system is designed for minimal interaction. The Smart Soil pods contain calibrated dirt and nutrients and the system waters the plants automatically.
Lepp’s goal was to make the system as small and simple as possible.
“In 2018 we looked at the numbers and figured out that a family of 4 could feasibly grow a fifth of their food plate in expendable living space, on just 7 sq km of wall at home, for example,” he said. “The idea went through different experiments and prototypes through the years, mainly focusing on how to integrate a garden of this size into even a small New York City apartment and into anyone’s busy lifestyle with its ease of use.”
The team plans to ship in February 2022, and there are a number of permutations of the garden product, which you can stack them against a wall for maximum usage of space. An app will tell you when you add water and when your greens are ready to nosh.
The product is already fully funded to the tune of more than $US227,000 ($289,584) and counting, and it looks like just the thing for folks who might need to feed a hungry family or just a hungry rabbit.