More and more people are living in smaller spaces, often without access to gardens or even balconies where one might do a little bit of gardening. Others live in northern cities with long dark winters, cities like Montreal where Bryce Nagels developed the Nutritower, a vertical farm for your tiny condo.
At a recent Toronto home show, Nagels tells TreeHugger that he can grow a continuous supply of lettuce, swiss chard, spinach as well as herbs like mint, parsley, basil and oregano. He has even grown tomatoes and teensy melons. It is a hydroponic system, with water and nutrients pumped up from the base to each of the pots.
The Nutritower can go anywhere because it has its own lighting, from 8 high output plant spectrum T5 bulbs. I asked why he wasn't using LED bulbs; he responded that they are still too expensive and that he got better results from the fluorescents.
I really wondered how space this saved over a horizontal planting bed; Bryce told me about a tenth of the space. On his website he writes:
The NutriTower is designed with production in mind. We wanted the system to grow enough food that it would actually make a measurable difference in people’s lives. The footprint of the system is about 3 square feet and it is just over 7 feet tall. The height of the tower is what allows it to produce so much in so little space! It easily fits in the corner of most rooms or kitchens.
The Nutritower starts at US$ 1,099, which some will complain is a lotta lettuce to grow a little lettuce. On the other hand, having gone through many a winter eating a local diet and being desperate for a salad, It could be the answer to the locavore's prayers. Order yours at Nutritower.