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NASA-inspired indoor gardens may make at-home farming easier and healthier

Farming ain’t easy. It takes care, plenty of space, and no shortage of hard work. That makes homegrown produce a luxury for even the wealthiest city dwellers.

But a company called Click & Grow wants to make farming at home as easy as pressing a button. After successfully launching the personal Smart Herb Garden last year, it has now announced a new line of fully-automated, NASA-inspired “Wall Farms,” which the firm says can grow fresh produce in a matter of weeks with minimal effort.

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Click & Grow’s goal was to make its farms as low maintenance as possible. To make their growing substrate extra fertile, the company developed a proprietary “Smart Soil” that maintains an optimal amount of oxygen, water, pH, and nutritional matter for the plant. No sunlight? No problem. Shining down on each shelf are ultra-efficient grow lights. Targeted irrigation conserves up to 95 percent more water than conventional farming methods, so this system may be ideal for drought-stricken areas.

“Our technology is all about saving water and lessening food miles while increasing efficiency and reducing the environmental impacts of plant production practices,” Click & Grow writes on its website.

With its specialized substrate, Click & Grow claims its Wall Farms help plants grow 30 percent faster than those planted in regular soil while packing them with 600 percent more vitamins.

At $799, the standard-sized Wall Farm has the capacity to grow 57 plants and can be monitored and controlled via a Click & Grow app. With a $199 launch price and $299 retail price, the Wall Farm Mini can grow 38 plants but lacks connectivity. Both versions come without the plants but with adequate substrate pods for one harvest. Regardless, consumers should plan to tack on another $60 monthly subscription for soil refills.