The city is planning a 250-acre agricultural district, which will function as a space to work, live, shop, and farm food. Called Sunqiao Shanghai, it will include new public plazas, parks, housing, stores, restaurants, greenhouses, and a science museum. Some of the crops will be grown hydroponically indoors (i.e. under LEDs and in nutrient-rich water rather than soil).
Sunqiao will allow for produce to be grown closer to the city, while reducing the impact of land and water use that comes with traditional agriculture, Grove says. At the same time, he acknowledges the large energy use that comes with vertical farms, which rely on LEDs to grow crops.
With the release of its first hydroponic systems, Ikea is joining numerous companies that are already using hydroponic technology to create innovative indoor gardening products.
The Calla, which raised over $85,000 on Kickstarter, is a modular hydroponic system that allows you to grow a countertop herb garden with very little maintenance. And company called Everblume is making an enclosed hydroponic grower that controls the air temperature around your plants.
Though IKEA’s contribution to that list lacks the smart functionality of some other similar devices, the fact that it’s being sold by the furniture giant will likely bring hydroponics even more into the public eye.
The move suggests indoor hydroponic gardening is no longer a rarefied hobby for environmentalists — with the new units, it’ll be something anyone can start doing for relatively little cost.
- Would you like to live in a place like that?
- What are some benefits and challenges of a home like this?
High-rise farming as a hobby in Tokyo for urbanites.
- What are the potential benefits?
- What are some issues?