In the fall of 2015 and 2016, our group had the opportunity to to visit Greentown Labs in Somerville, Massachusetts (I believe there's a page on this website about the start-up incubator) and hear from the sharp minds behind Grove, a start-up dedicated to integrating "smart" aquaponics gardens into people's homes. In lieu of a post about our own system, we decided to share a bit about this company that gave us insight and inspiration into how to approach the construction of an aquaponics system.
Grove Ecosystem intends to change the future of food industry by enabling users to cultivate fruits and vegetables inside their homes. As an aquaponic system, it integrates three primary partitions: the lighting, the grow area, and the fish tank. By the close cooperation of these three, Grove Ecosystem grows crops self-sufficiently (hence the name: Grove Ecosystem). Nonetheless, the aquaponic system illustrates how scientists have come up with the idea, and how the system incorporates the use of sensors and a particular mobile device application to yield maximal growth and its potential impact on our lifestyles.
The Grove Ecosystem yields freshly grown plants to users as its intended functionality; and enables many to grow and eat organic, sustainable, and hyperlocal food. In the process of familiarizing with the system, the user learns how to grow crops: how much and what type of fish produces a sufficient amount of useful bacteria for the plants, how much lighting the plants need to flourish, and what temperature and humidity the plants need. The educational value of this innovation grants many the opportunity to regain their forgotten knowledge from biology class.
Moreover, the system embodies both an indoor farm and a fish tank and incorporates the benefits of both, ultimately complementing each other for an optimized production. Nevertheless, setting such innovation in one’s apartment will not only allow the user to gain valuable knowledge but also add exquisite liveliness to their home.
On January 30th, we tasted some small pieces of the lettuce we plant. Though they (especially the leaves on the top of the plants) tasted a little bit bitter, they tasted very much like the best lettuce you can get in a market!