We've always been jealous of our friends and families with backyards where they can actually grow their own produce. But a new startup is looking to make it easier for green-thumbed apartment-dwellers to make like farmers, regardless of the season.
We first found out about the Grove ecosystem from Business Insider, which reports that the Massachussets-based company (started by MIT students) has already raised $4 million in seed funding, and $250,000 within a week on Kickstarter.
It's an intelligent, indoor garden, and the way it works is pretty ingenious, though not cheap: The systems start at $2,700 a pop.
The method is called aquaponics. Basically, the ecosystem (shown at left) has an aquarium inside of it, and those fish turn food into waste. Bacteria then turns that waste into nitrates, which are used as fertilizer.
The unit also has a plumbing system that pumps nitrate-enriched water through the plant beds.
Each ecosystem has two gardening beds, and clay pebbles replace soil. Plants are nourished by LED lights that slide up or down to adjust to the height of the plants so they get the light they need.
And apparently you can grow everything from arugula to kale to rosemary to basil to strawberries—any time of year, regardless of when they're technically in season.
Judging from the pictures, it looks like the system is about the same size as a medium-width Ikea bookshelf—in short, totally doable for an NYC apartment.