Grow your crops indoors with the Grobo automated garden — now shipping

The local food movement is in full swing in urban environments across the country, and what could be more local than the food that comes from your own home? We know, we know — not everyone has the luxury of living on a farm or tending to an expansive garden, but now you don’t need to. Meet Grobo, a home growing system that promises to “take the guesswork out of successfully growing small crops of high-quality food.” And Grobo One has now begun shipping to its customers.

While you can’t exactly control the conditions of a traditional garden, with the Grobo, you become somewhat omnipotent. Customize your growing environment by using your smartphone and Grobo’s app to set the wavelength and spectrum (which is to say, color and intensity) of the 53 LED lights within the enclosure. The autonomous system will let you set and forget a watering schedule — up to eight times a day. And everything about the Grobo is eco-friendly, including its low energy consumption. In fact, running this indoor gardening system requires about the same amount of electricity as a ceiling fan.

“Hydroponics allows you to achieve larger yields in less time,” Grobo’s founders told Digital Trends, “With hydroponics, the nutrients are added to water so that the plant can easily absorb them rather than having to extract each nutrient from the soil.”

There’s no limit to the types of fruits, vegetables, and herbs you can grow with the Grobo. From your favorite salad greens to calming teas to seasonal fruits, Grobo invites its users to get creative with the system’s uses. And regardless of what you’re growing, the app will take care of all the heavy lifting for you. Simply select the plant you want to grow, and the Grobo system will run a preloaded and optimized grow recipe. And if you’re curious as to how your plants are doing during their growth cycle, you can check the Grobo app for variables like plant height, nutrient consumption, and more.

And although you can indeed grow any crop (Grobo told us that the product is “truly crop agnostic”), cannabis appears to be a particularly compelling choice — we hope only for legal growers although of course this home-based solution may attract non-legal growers as well.

“Cannabis currently provides the best ROI for customers,” Grobo’s founders told us. “With cannabis you can pay for a Grobo One within one year which is significantly faster than any other crop.” And for medicinal cannabis patients, Grobo can help automate the home growing process, saving folks many hours every week.

With regard to the eventual legalization of cannabis, Grobo seems optimistic for the future. “Over the next five to ten years as more producers become licensed and competition increases, cannabis quality will slowly improve and prices will slowly decrease,” the founders said. “By this point in time, however, we aim to have decreased the cost and increased the production of new Grobo systems enough that people will be growing cannabis alongside high quality fruits and vegetables in their homes.”

Article originally published in August 2016. Updated on 04-20-2017 by Lulu Chang: Added news that Grobo has begun shipping. 

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