Leap forward for indoor gardens


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Could the farmers’ market be replaced by a three-tiered indoor ecosystem?

Grove Labs of Massachusetts has introduced the Grove Ecosystem, which is shaped like a 6-foot-tall bookcase but holds an aquarium and space to grow greens, herbs and fruits.

In essence, the fish in the aquarium provide the fertilizer that helps the greens grow. To complete the cycle, the greens clean the water from the aquarium and a pump sends it back to the fish. Aiding the growing process are LED lights that induce photosynthesis. Users will be able to track progress and adjust conditions on a smartphone app. And Grove claims the natural process will eliminate any need to clean greens before eating — or even clean the tank.

The Grove Ecosystem becomes the most ambitious attempt yet in pushing the indoor-garden trend. The Back to the Roots AquaFarm utilizes the same process, but on a much smaller scale. The company hopes families can drastically cut grocery bills by embracing this hyper-local process of food-growing.

This technology has particular relevance among millennials. Because they seek cost-effective alternatives to major grocery chains, they’re not afraid to fragmentize food shopping to save money and they eat a variety of healthy foods, the indoor ecosystem remains an intriguing product for the future. The Grove Ecosystem will be $4,500 once available — likely summer 2016 — with a regular monthly cost of around $20 for fish food and supplies.

It’s true: Millennials are changing how we produce and consume food and drink. In very much the same way that they’re appreciating craft alcohol by bringing it to the home, millennials are going to jump in on products like the Grove Ecosystem, since it simplifies process and saves money. 

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