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Architect plants seed of a homegrown food revolution

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December 9 2020

Architect plants seed of a homegrown food revolution

An architect has hit upon a novel solution for flat dwellers without access to a garden or allotment who wish to grow food with a novel hydroponic planter which requires no soil or electricity.

The bamboo fibre and corn starch composite GrowPod serves as a low-tech all-in-one solution for growing fruit and veg within the home, enabling anyone to become an urban farmer while also addressing access to affordable healthy food and climate change.

Developed by Conor Gallagher, 30, a Glasgow School of Art-trained architect from Belfast now living in London, the design is claimed to employ 90% less water than traditional hydroponics and there is no requirement for artificial lighting.

Described as more sustainable than vertical farming of stacked hydroponic planters the small-scale solution does away with soil entirely to utilise a simple body of water as the growth medium. Leaving the hard work to nature the GrowPod only requires access to a sunny windowsill to perform its magic.

Gallagher said: "By making it as easy as possible for every consumer to grow for themselves we can create a behaviour change which has the potential to save the planet.

“After I moved to London from Glasgow, I saw how people wanted to eat healthily and ethically, but it wasn’t affordable to do so. Most people I knew had no garden and hardly any indoor space. By using hydroponics, the technology of vertical farms, there’s no need for soil which makes the plant far more space-efficient.

“By growing even a small bunch of salad herbs at home, every household can have a direct relationship with the food they eat and where it comes from."

Gallagher is also the founder of AllotMe, a digital platform pairing city residents with available land and gardens in their area for cultivation.

10 Comments

Nairn's Bairn
#1 Posted by Nairn's Bairn on 9 Dec 2020 at 14:08 PM
It makes sense - I'd feel much better knowing the salad I was binning was home grown rather than bought in a supermarket. And looking at that planter, the quantities will be much smaller too. So a win for the planet and a win for my wallet - what's not to like?
Al Gorge
#2 Posted by Al Gorge on 9 Dec 2020 at 14:18 PM
600 quid on set up costs, buying all the gear, spending working hours of my working day tending to the plants, waiting 8 weeks for the satisfying crunch of a half-mouthful of mulch. Canny wait.
Nairn's Bairn
#3 Posted by Nairn's Bairn on 9 Dec 2020 at 14:44 PM
#2 Mr Gorge - you're missing the point. Yes, you'll have to put a bit of effort into it, and yes, your cat will drink the water, and you'll knock it over at least once, but at the end of it all, with a bit of love and attention, you’ll maybe, just maybe, have enough limp cress to garnish a light lunch. This is going to change the world.
The Bairn
#4 Posted by The Bairn on 10 Dec 2020 at 16:36 PM
Complete nonsense...I suggest architects stick to what they are trained to do...cant see many potatoes being harvested by this method and I really prefer chips!!
Matt
#5 Posted by Matt on 11 Dec 2020 at 10:30 AM
Crikey, what a dull, miserable little country Scotland is...typified by the consistently dreadful work on this website and the tiresome comments when someone actually has the gumption to try to innovate.




The Heart of Saturday Night
#6 Posted by The Heart of Saturday Night on 11 Dec 2020 at 10:59 AM
You can't save the world with a few basil leaves, you know.
Nairn's Bairn
#7 Posted by Nairn's Bairn on 11 Dec 2020 at 11:13 AM
#5 Matt - I'm all for innovation, but I have an instinctive reflex against phrases like:

“..enabling anyone to become an urban farmer while also addressing access to affordable healthy food and climate change”
and
“we can create a behaviour change which has the potential to save the planet”
and
“every household can have a direct relationship with the food they eat”.

When I hear this stuff, my bull-ometer kicks into overload. This is marketing spin, clap-trap of the highest order, utter bo**ocks. I have used hydroponics myself, but I was never under the impression it was saving the world. And of course it’s called a ‘GrowPod’. Of course it is; presumably ‘I-Pot’ was taken.

This is a serious thing – I see a lot of architecture graduates spouting this stuff, is this what you get taught these days? No wonder we’re losing work to the more practically-minded.
HMR
#8 Posted by HMR on 11 Dec 2020 at 12:04 PM
Wow never seen this before..... news flash.
Green Fingered
#9 Posted by Green Fingered on 11 Dec 2020 at 12:31 PM
@#5 Matt
Please do not be stupid enough judge a country by what a few morons with too much time on their hands contribute on this forum.
Well done Conor - ignore the haters.
Matt
#10 Posted by Matt on 11 Dec 2020 at 13:43 PM
#9 Indeed, however sadly my judgement is based on a far broader view than the evidence on show @UR. The negativity of a few downtrodden, woe is me door-schedule artists is minor compared with general spite and malaise…

I doubt the GrowPod will save the world or improve my relationship with Rosemary, but it’s a lovely wee thing…..Good luck with it Conor.

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