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No soil, no gimmick: Natufia’s Kitchen Garden is the future of at-home produce

As throngs of various automated gadgets plan to flood the CES floor in Las Vegas, a small company out of Tallinn, Estonia hopes to corner one of the industry’s newest verticals: Tech-heavy indoor gardens. Dubbed the Natufia Kitchen Garden — Natufia Labs also happens to be the name of the company, as well — this device aims to integrate seamlessly into anyone’s kitchen, giving them an entirely new way to grow their own crops without the use of any soil. Backed merely by sensors, the Kitchen Garden is a revolutionary fresh food producer.

Packed to the gills with innovative tech, Natufia’s Kitchen Garden features real-time data analysis which helps the machine quickly process environmental changes and adjust its settings accordingly. Additionally, with built-in Wi-Fi, owners have the ability to clearly monitor their crops via the machine’s integrated touchscreen — or remotely from a smartphone application. You know that old wives tale that says plants enjoy listening to music? Natufia does and it included this feature (with ambient, classical, or nature sounds) for the machine to help promote healthy growth.

“Almost everyone is progressively seeking out organic and healthy food options,” Natufia Labs co-founder Gregory Lu said. “We want to provide a sustainable solution that connects people back with nature while keeping up with food production needed to feed future generations, all without sacrificing quality and nutrition.”

Offering more than 30 types of seeds — such as basil, lemon balm, parsley, kale, or arugula — Natufia allows owners the ability to purchase what it calls “seed capsules.” Fully recyclable and full of organic seeds, these seed capsules come standard with a sponge-like growth vehicle compatible with the Kitchen Garden. A vital part of the process, Natufia’s sponge-like growers serve as the company’s soil alternative — along with the machine’s relative technology, of course.

More: Ikea to offer indoor hydroponic garden systems in U.S. following U.K. launch

“Our objective is to bring Natufia Kitchen Garden into areas where it is difficult to grow your own product,” added Natufia Labs’ other co-founder, Lauri Kapp. “People living and working in cities or in climates that make outdoor gardening unsustainable are forced to have all of their food imported. Natufia seeks to bring herbs and vegetables as close to the place of consumption as possible. Not only will everyone benefit from organic food, but they will also be part of the food growing experience while helping to reduce their carbon footprint of unnecessary food transport.”

Parked at CES’ startup-friendly war zone known as Eureka Park, Natufia showed off its Kitchen Garden to the masses. Though its pre-release pictures paint a decent picture of what the rig looks like and how it might function, it wasn’t until seeing the thing up close that we got a true sense for just how innovative it truly is. Featuring the ability to actively water the capsules when needed, an intuitive touchscreen interface, and an incubator container for starting the pods, the Kitchen Garden is a marvel of at-home produce engineering.

After enjoying a successful limited pre-launch in London last October, Natufia Labs is prepping to make its Kitchen Garden available worldwide at a price of $13,875. A particularly steep price but with its ability to consistently churn out fresh produce — and the fact its seed capsules won’t ever cost more than a dollar — in-house gardening systems such as the Kitchen Garden appear to be the future of automated food production.