With its claim of having the same growing space as an 8' by 10' outdoor garden, but on a small footprint, the Taiga Tower is a vertical kitchen garden with big promises.
Yup, it's the latest edition of the YAUGU (yet another urban grow unit) chronicles. And I say that with all due respect, because I see the need for more simple options for growing food at home, regardless of the amount of space that's available.
But not all of these countertop gardening units will live up to their marketing, and not all of them will perform the same for every customer, and not every design is right for all customers. Some of them have been in use for years, and some are just coming out of beta or production prototype phase right now, so there's potentially a big gap between what's cheap and what works best, and between the practical and reliable units and the ones with all the bells and whistles. For some help on choosing the best one out of all the myriad options on the internet, for your particular situation and budget, first determine what you want to get out of it, how much space you can devote to it, and how much money and time you want to spend on it, and then see which of the units matches your figures, and then which of those are available for immediate purchase, and then which of those have good customer reviews. For those who are a little less risk-averse, and who don't mind waiting for delivery, the pre-order and crowdfunded grow units can sometimes be a cheaper option, but it's worth looking for beta unit reviews and a successful previous product or history from the company before deciding on a unit.
This latest entry to the indoor gardening sector falls into that second category, with a crowdfunding and pre-order campaign under way for the 4.5' tall Taiga Tower units, so if successful, the units won't be delivered until June of 2017, but at the backer price of just $149 for a full "smart garden unit," it's well worth taking a closer look at. It claims to have the capacity for 50 plants, the equivalent amount of growing space of an 80 square foot garden, in a footprint of just less than 38 inches in diameter. And it has wheels on the bottom, so users can easily move it when desired.
Which is good, because this unit has only minimal LED lighting for the plants, so it will need to be in a sunny or otherwise well-lit location. The lighting specs aren't given, only that the LED "full spectrum" grow lights are "only to supplement additional lighting needed," and a look at the image shows three small sections of the vertical tower are the locations for the lights, not directly over each of the nine growing trays (as many other growing units provide). That said, the watering system makes for a lower-maintenance indoor garden, with water being pushed from the bottom reservoir to each of the trays, with an estimated time of between 7 and 10 days for filling the water.
The Taiga Tower is said to be able to be operated manually, or as-is with default watering and lighting schedules, but users can also access "smart features" with a mobile app (of course) to dial those in for themselves, and to do so remotely if needed. No specs are given for the power draw on this growing unit, such as for the lights and watering system.
Here's the video pitch:
More info is available at Indiegogo, where the Taiga Tower has set a rather modest crowdfunding and pre-order goal of $15,000.