On Our Urban Ag Radar: Hydroponic Vending Machines; Oasis Grower Solutions for Anxious Growers; Living Within a Vertical Farm


The image that stopped me dead in my internet-surfing tracks:
A hydroponic lettuce vending machine.


This brilliant machine can be found in Japan. It’s brilliant.


Let’s move these in next to the vending machines in our schools, workplaces and hospitals. (I’d say “replace” the candy vending machines, but a girl needs some chocolate every one in a while). But seriously, I can’t tell you how often I’ve craved a good salad. I’ve just been too lazy or hungry to hop in the car, travel down to the restaurant just to wait 20-30 minutes for some good, fresh greens. This could be a genius solution. A whole new meaning to the word “salad bar”.

I had to do some digging, but here are a few sources to learn more about the machines: Apartment Therapy and DVICE.

Hat-tip to our sponsor Oasis Grower Solutions for the great find
. I saw it first on their Facebook page. Guess it pays to be a fan. I know we’re a fan on and off Facebook not only of their Horticubes (which shave DAYS off the hydroponic propagation process) but they just look good doing it (you know how judgmental I am). Check out their slick packaging. This would look gorgeous in your hydroponic store.

From Oasis Grower Solutions: “Lower density and higher drainage mean HORTICUBES® media maintain the right amount of oxygen even when the foam is saturated.

While I could keep telling you all the reasons you should be using Horticubes, I think I’ll let some pictures do the talking.

This is basil sprouting happily from Horticubes just seven days after setting seed.
See it here.

Hort Americas tests cucumbers in Horticubes. See it here.

You don’t have to be a grower to appreciate those white roots!
See more here.

Learn more about Oasis Grower Solutions here and stay connected with them on Facebook.

And finally. Would you live, work and play in a vertical farm?

While I crave — yearn for the open, peaceful space of the country, I could easily retire in a space like this.

The inspiring architecture comes from a French firm Vincent Callebaut Architects. The vertical farms are designed for the very over-populated China not only to house people but give space for gardens to provide food and help improve air quality.

“The mixed-use eco-towers provide space for residences, offices, retail, recreation and food production. Integrated sources of renewable energy, sustainable farming, rainwater and grey water recycling all work in harmony to provide healthy living in a rapidly growing, dense, urban environment.”

Would you pack up your suburban home for a more vertical space? Read more of this fascinating project here.

See more hot topics in urban ag here.

About Katie Ketelsen, Urban Ag Products Blogger and Advocate

Katie is a jack of all trades: Co-owner of Maverly Lands, a hydroponic grower of herbs and greens; contributing online garden editor for Better Homes and Gardens; board member for National Green Centre. If you’ve got something to share with Katie, please contact her here.