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Edible tech: This home garden will soothe city dwellers’ urban blues

If urban living’s got you down, you may be able to introduce a little greenery to your kitchen with Foop, a hydroponic garden that lets you bring the farmer’s market to your home. This Japanese product allows you to grow vegetables and herbs of quite a wide variety — take your pick from staples like lettuce, parsley, basil, and mesclun — even if you don’t have a plot of land or a backyard to speak of. All you need is the hydroponic pod that lets you take your desired vegetable seeds, stick them in special cultivation cups, and watch them grow.

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The secret behind the hydroponic garden comes in its sponge pods, which house your desired seeds. Of course, because this is a tech-oriented Japanese product, it comes complete with a Foop app that lets you set your desired timeframe for growth on your smartphone. The app also allows you to set the garden’s growing conditions, though you’ll be able to make adjustments if you feel that the lighting, heat, or humidity are doing funky things to your food. Once your crops are ready, your mobile device will send you a notification — presumably because some of us city dwellers wouldn’t know what fresh vegetables looked like if they were staring us in the face.

The Foop (whose makers consider the term to be a condensed version of “food” and “people”) is about the size of a double-shelf toaster oven, and looks a lot like a vegetable drawer. While one Foop on its own probably wouldn’t be enough to let you grow all the fresh produce you need, it’s still a welcome change for city dwellers who just need an injection of nature in their concrete jungle lives.

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Each Foop comes with dedicated LED lights, environmental regulation fans, CO2 sensors, and a little hand pump to aerate the water for the best possible plant growing conditions. The inside garden is expected to become available in September with the special early bird price of $360 for the first 100 units.

Related: Grow your own produce indoors, check out Aerogarden here

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