Grow some of your own greens, veggies, and herbs indoors with one of these automated hydroponic growing systems.
When you combine an automated low-water growing system with efficient LED lighting, you get a space-saving - and time-saving - solution for growing veggies indoors. Thanks to advances in both automation and lighting, as well as dropping prices for those technologies, the number of countertop and kitchen gardens on the market is rapidly growing.
The latest entry to the indoor gardening scene comes from OPCOM, which is offering a wide range of hydroponic growing systems ranging from a small countertop garden to vertical wall gardens to modular stackable units, as well as 40' shipping container farms, all of which feature "energy-efficient Auto-Cycle" systems that control the lights and watering.OPCOM, a 23-year old global digital imaging and lighting company, has been branching out into the manufacture of indoor grow units as well because its founder and CEO Jack Ting "passionately believes in the power of hydroponic farming to produce healthier plants while reducing costs and conserving land, energy and water." The company's OPCOM Farm products are intended for everyone from the beginning gardener to those looking to set up a restaurant garden or indoor urban farm, and all of which rely on hydroponics and LED lighting said to simulate the "precise sunlight spectrum" for optimal growth.
The smallest of the units is the O2-Light, a tabletop garden that runs about $180, includes a built-in fan ("a Bio-Air Refresher") and a light that has two lighting modes and can be swiveled over your reading material or work area, with the intent of enabling "a healthy reading environment." The GrowFrame, which costs about $280, can be mounted on a wall as a vertical garden or used on a tabletop, fits up to 20 plants, and also includes a fan (I mean a Bio-Air Refresher). The GrowBox (~$600) is a tabletop unit that can grow up to 50 plants, and its open-frame design and height- and angle-adjustable LED lights are meant to be able to let it handle plants up to 3 feet tall. The $800 GrowWall is a vertical growing system that can accommodate up to 75 plants across 5 tiers, and has a minimal physical footprint (~9" deep x 53" wide).
The company also has a number of other bigger units that could be a great complement to a school, business, or restaurant, as well as large "Interactive Cloud Farms" in a 40' shipping container for those looking to grow mass quantities of greens, veggies, or herbs for sale.