You can always recycle an old wine bottle, but what if you could transform it into a tiny garden instead? Urban Leaf empowers people to grow food at home with the World’s Smallest Garden, which transforms used bottles into planters. It takes minutes to put together one of the mini gardens, which can grow greens and herbs year-round – and you can snag one on the cheap right now on Kickstarter.
The World’s Smallest Garden is comprised of a 3D-printed cylindrical device, or plug, that fits right into the neck of an old bottle. The plastic used in the product is biodegradable. Users fill the bottle with water, insert the device filled with soil and seeds, and sit back and let the plants grow. Plants can draw on that initial water source for a month, and then users can add water as needed.
Dill, lettuce, bok choy, and basil are just a few of the plants that can be grown with the World’s Smallest Garden. Users will be able to start harvesting the plants after around four to six weeks. The team designed the garden with the idea that plants would grow just in the bottle, although co-founder Robert Elliott told Inhabitat it should work to move a plant into a planter since hydroponically grown plants typically transplant well. They’ve been able to grow herbs like mint and parsley for five months in bottles, and even grew dwarf tomatoes to fruit in a World’s Smallest Garden.
Elliott and Nathan Littlewood started Urban Leaf to work towards a better food system. On their website they say they believe growing food in urban areas solves many of the issues with the modern food industry, allowing for less waste, less packaging, and shorter supply chains. But many people living in cities don’t have a lot of space to grow gardens, an obstacle Urban Leaf overcomes with the World’s Smallest Garden.
Elliott told Inhabitat, “The design process for the World’s Smallest Garden was an effort to create the most minimal product that still effectively grew plants. We started with a ‘bells and whistles’ prototype and removed lights, pumps, multiple substrates, nutrient packets, and even the reservoir. Brown or green glass bottles are a natural fit for a reservoir (they block harmful red/blue light while allowing you to see in) and most people just throw them away! By selling just the essential component to turn existing waste into a hydroponic reservoir we save customers money and reduce our manufacturing and shipping environmental impact.”
Images courtesy of Urban Leaf