Today’s Solutions: November 30, 2021

While the benefits of gardening on mental health and general wellbeing are becoming increasingly evident, many people don’t have an outdoor space to take up this wholesome hobby. Soon, however, you may be able to build your own indoor vertical garden, thanks to a team of scientists from the UK.

To enable more people to grow their own plants at home as well as help them eat healthier, a team of scientists from the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London has imagined a way for those with a limited amount of indoor and outdoor space to build their own vertical garden, by making the instructions of how to do that available for free.

Called HECTAR, the vertical farm is an open-source hydroponics unit designed specifically for interiors to help more people grow healthy food in their own homes. The open-source description means that the source code needed to create the indoor farm is freely accessible to the public under a special license.

HECTAR itself looks like a simple shelf, but its innovative hydroponics system can grow as many as 120 plants in a space the size of a cupboard. What’s more, the design is made of modular units that can be built using standard parts found in virtually any hardware store.

Felix Wieberneit, who thought of the idea, hopes the free plans will help educate and empower people to grow their own food at home, without having to rely on pricey smart growing systems or seed subscription services. Even better, the vertical farm could also help owners save money in the long run as they will be able to cultivate their own edible plants like arugula, lettuce, and a number of different herbs.

Should you be interested in downloading the plans — which include an instructional video and suggestions on where to buy the necessary materials — you can find them on the HECTAR website.

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