Why we created the GrowPod




In 2019, AllotMe published a case study on the rise of the Vertical Farming industry in our cities. We looked at the startups and behemoths of indoor farming that grow using hydroponic or aeroponic technologies, and their efforts to carve out a market for sustainable food in the mass market.

Although vertical farming was not a brand new idea at the time, the industry has continued to grow from a $26b market value in 2018, to approximately $32b in 2020 for North America alone.

At the time, we remarked upon the lack of access for the industry’s produce for the average consumer, due to affordability and availability in the mass market. And although the market and reach of the industry has grown since 2018, the issue of disconnection to the end consumer remains the same today.

How to overcome this disconnection? Simple: Help consumers to start growing at home.

Vertical farms were never going to teach their consumers how to grow for themselves using their own tried and tested methods, so we’ve done it for them.

Introducing: the GrowPod :



We’ve looked at 3 of the key problems that Vertical farms still struggle with to this day, and sought to improve on them for an affordable and sustainable way to start growing at home, no matter what size of space you live in. Let’s look at them in more detail…

1. Space

Problem:

1 in 8 homes in the UK have no garden, and in our cities this figure rises dramatically; not to mention that over half of flats in the nation’s capital have no outdoor space at all.

When the average apartment comes at no more than 50m2, even finding space indoors to get growing can be a challenge.

Solution:

Create a small, space efficient planter that can be utilised in even the smallest of apartments. If we use the technology of vertical farms, ie: hydroponics (roots growing in water) - it means not having to allow for a large container of soil.

The benefit of growing with hydroponics also means that you’ll be using 90% less water, get a better yield from your crop and ultimately contribute to fewer carbon emissions!

2. Affordability

Problem:

Sustainable food from vertical farms is not available in the mass market at an affordable price. There are hydroponic planters available for consumers to grow at home, but not at a price the average person can afford (£100 or more).

Solution:

Design a low-tech, grow-at-home kit that’s affordable for the average person. To help teach new methods of food growing to a wider audience, and a range of demographics. End result: everything you need to get growing in one box for less than £40. .

3. Sustainability

Problem:

All of the existing hydroponic planters on the market are 1) made from plastic; and 2) consume an abundance of electricity through LED lighting.

The latter of these issues is something that the vertical farming industry is often criticised for. Whilst artificial LED lighting has become more efficient over time, the issue remains that energy consumption in food production is massive detractor when it comes to their measure of sustainability.

Solution:

1) Source materials that are either sustainable, biodegradable, or reusable. The main body of the AllotMe GrowPod is made from a bamboo fibre and corn starch composite instead of plastic.

2) Grow without using artificial lighting: removing the need for additional energy consumption. The GrowPod just needs to be placed on a sunny window sill in order to harness the natural energy of the sun. If it’s good enough for nature, it’s good enough for us!


We created the GrowPod so that growing food at home can be easy and affordable for anyone to do.



By growing even a small bunch of salads herbs at home, every household can have a direct relationship with the food they eat and where it comes from.

We hope that for every purchase of a GrowPod, comes a reflection on the impact that can be made by every individual through their day-to-day choices.

Because when we start on the journey of growing our own food, not only our fingers but our lives become a little bit greener. Intrigued ? Head to AllotMe.co.uk/growathome to order yours today.