Did you know you can power a clock with dirt? Dutch designer Marieke Staps has figured out a way to grow time, instead of killing it. Her soil-powered bio-clock (is that like a biological clock?), showcased at Dutch Design Week in 2008and most recently at Dwell on Design’s Kitchen Ecology Show last week, keeps time by plugging into mud!

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The clock works with copper and zinc electrodes that plug into the soil. The soil functions as an electrolyte, or conductive medium through which an electrical charge can flow. The natural metabolism of biological life produces enough electricity to keep the clock working. The trick? One has to remember to water the plants in order for the clock to keep working. The principle is quite poignant, keep the plant alive and time continues.  If the plant dies, so does thyme. Er, time.

Staps has also designed a soil-powered LED lamp for those who love this green principle.

+ Marieke Staps