With headlines like “Glyphosate found in Cheerios, Kashi cookies and other popular food items” and “Are you eating Monsanto weed killer for breakfast?” plaguing the news, more and more of us are looking for ways keep our families healthy by growing our own food at home. GrowBox is a new hydroponic solution that lets you cultivate and harvest up to 50 edible plants in an indoor environment all year-round. There’s no need to worry about sunlight or water because the whole system is optimized and automated, and you never have to be concerned about carcinogenic pesticides because you control exactly what goes into your personal farm every day.
Developed by Opcom Farm, GrowBox is a new indoor farming system that allows users to grow fresh veggies right in their own homes. Made up of four LED lamps, a water tank and pump, and a tray that holds up to 50 plants at a time, the robust kit comes with everything you need to start your own mini farm including seedling sponges, starter seeds, nutrition packs, pH capsules, a pH meter, and an insect net.
Opcom is committed to using only non-GMO seeds and pesticide-free nutrients that come from a leading American manufacturer.
In addition to being able to grow and harvest throughout the colder months, GrowBox gives even the blackest of thumbs an agricultural edge with an easy-to-use “Auto” mode that provides your plants with precisely the right amount of light, water and nutrients they need when they need it. The unit’s components are also flexible so that you can adjust the heights of the lamps and tubes to accommodate your flourishing crops.
The unit also has an area that is specially designed to grow nutrient-rich sprouts.
For a large garden with such a high yield, the GrowBox‘s energy and water usage stats are actually quite impressive. According to Opcom, the system uses less than $0.11 per day of electricity (based on $0.12 per KWH), or about the same as your cable box. That means that per week, it uses less electricity than drying two loads of laundry in an electric clothes dryer. Because the unit operates on a hydroponic gardening system, it also uses 90 percent less water than a traditional garden.
While it’s actually quite space-efficient considering that it can grow so many plants simultaneously, the GrowBox isn’t exactly petite. Measuring in at about 4′ x 2′, the unit takes up a sizable chunk of real estate (that many urban dwellers simply can’t spare). For those looking for a more vertical solution, Opcom does offer the slender and tall GrowWall, which holds up to 75 plants while taking up less floor space. But we’d love to see an even more space-efficient model catering to urban apartment dwellers from Opcom in the future.
At $499, the GrowBox certainly isn’t cheap, but if you consider that a bunch of spinach can cost about $3 in many urban areas, and that the GrowBox lets you grow 50 plants at a time ($3 x 50 = $150), you can see how quickly this investment begins to pay for itself.
Note: Opcom supplied the author of this article with a sample GrowBox unit in exchange for an unbiased writeup.