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In the future, we may really grow vegetables using our own equipment at home, especially salads, herbs, and tomatoes. Like other interactive home growing systems we've covered recently (see here and here), the Niwa uses hydroponics and sensors to make it as easy as possible to grow vegetables right in your kitchen. It creates an enclosed an environment, and of course, everything is controlled by a smartphone. In this case, you can monitor temperature, watering and lighting levels, and follow growing plans for each type of plant and growing stage. "The idea was born out of a frustration with our inefficient globalized food system, and from firsthand experience growing up in a region that's one of the world's top producers of vegetables," said co-founder Aga Nazaruk, in an email.

"Almeria [in Spain] is the largest producer of tomatoes on Earth with greenhouses visible from space. Nazaruk developed the Niwa with her friend Javier Morillas. If you happen to live in an apartment with no access to a yard or even a balcony, growing your own food can be a challenge: Even indoor gardening kits like Windowfarms (a clever design that builds a full garden in a sunny window) take some skill and maintenance to get right. But things keep getting easier. The new Microgarden, a tiny greenhouse now raising funds on Indiegogo, might be one of the simplest of all indoor gardens to grow. "We wanted to make something that is very easy to use," says Anna Glansén, a designer at Tomorrow Machine, the design studio that developed the Microgarden for INFARM, a Berlin-based urban farming company.

"You don’t need a green thumb or any experience in growing, and you don’t even have to water your plants because the greenhouse is self-contained. " The garden uses a single sheet of plastic that folds up, origami-style, into a protective cover. Inside the dome, seedlings grow in a seaweed-based gel called agar-agar that replaces soil and water. Portable Greenhouse. Many gardeners use cold frames and quick hoops for season extension, but just beyond these is a simple and super-productive option for the home gardener: a small, low-cost, portable greenhouse. We’ve found that you can build a 10-by-12-foot greenhouse for less than you’d spend on a store-bought 4-by-4-foot cold frame. Our goals in designing this movable greenhouse were that it be simple to build with off-the-shelf parts, easy to move, easy to anchor and inexpensive. Even gardeners in moderate or warm climates can benefit from a greenhouse, which gives you much more variety in your winter fare, and also makes the experience of growing it more pleasant.

A greenhouse furnishes a warm and sheltered spot for plants, but because you can stand up inside of it, it also shelters you. Similar to a cold frame, a simple greenhouse captures the sun’s heat and eliminates the drying, chilling effects of wind. Constructing Your Portable Greenhouse More on Successful Greenhouse Growing. Make an Easy, Inexpensive Mini-Greenhouse With Low Tunnels - Organic Garden. During any time of year, a visitor to my Zone 6 garden will find at least a couple of low tunnels at work. Supported by wire hoops or arches made from wire fencing, my garden tunnels are covered with row cover and/or plastic when it’s cold to create mini-greenhouses.

During winter, they provide protection from wind, hail, and most critters while speeding soil warm-up for summer crops. In summer, I cover the greenhouse tunnels with lightweight row cover or tulle to exclude insect pests such as flea beetles and squash vine borers, and to provide shade for heat-sensitive crops such as lettuce. The cycle begins again when I plant fall-sown onions, such as ‘Olympic’ and ‘Top Keeper,’ or hardy greens inside my multipurpose, portable mini-greenhouses.

Anatomy of a Low Tunnel Any garden tunnel has three parts — the support hoops or arches, the cover, and the pins, ropes or weights to keep the edges secure. Covers for Low Tunnels Securing the Edges. 7 Market Crops You Can Grow in a Greenhouse - Hobby Farms. When cold weather sets in, most farmers close up their market booth for the season and pack it in. However, a farmer looking to continue earning income in the off-season can turn to a greenhouse as a season extender, offering produce to hungry customers year-round.

But what crops are best for greenhouse production? And what is the winter customer looking for? These are things you’ll need to identify before starting your greenhouse operation. 1. Grow It: Sow seeds for leaf mixes thickly, preferably using a seeder, in tight rows 2 to 3 inches apart in 4-foot-wide beds. Market It: Mix cut lettuce in plastic bags or enclosed totes, and display out of wind and sun. 2. Grow It: For full leaf spinach, sow seeds 1 to 2 inches apart, in rows 10 to 18 inches apart. Market It: If growing full spinach leaves, harvest from the stem, wash and tie in large, attractive bunches. 3.

Market It: Tie or bag your greens in large, attractive bunches. 4. 5. 6. 7. Growing in a Small-Scale Greenhouse. By Kelly Wood Photo courtesy of iStockphoto/Thinkstock A greenhouse can greatly enhance your backyard-gardening experience. When I was a little girl, my mother’s glasshouse was an oasis in the seemingly endless, waterlogged, Northwestern winters. The bright lights and heat canceled any chill, and the smells of humidity, soil and new growth were invigorating for the body and soul. More recently, a friend of mine purchased property that includes scattered outbuildings and a ramshackle greenhouse. I know how she feels. What’s the Big Deal? Greenhouses nurture plants as well as gardeners. Greenhouses also can be used for starting plants, raising young plants to maturity and yield and protecting plants from inhospitable conditions.

The less area you have to site a greenhouse, of course, the more you’ll have to challenge your ingenuity when it comes to selection and use. If you are planning a walk-in structure, check local building codes in case it will require a permit. Submit Comment » Roots Up's Dew Collector greenhouse provides veggies and water in Ethiopia. The Roots Up’s Dew Collector greenhouse can help farmers in arid climates raise fresh vegetables, even during droughts. Dedicated to creating a system of self-reliant farms in Ethiopia, the greenhouse helps to collect dew that would otherwise evaporate into the atmosphere.

With the dew collector, farmers can raise protected plants, and yield clean water for both irrigation and drinking. The dome-like greenhouse is activated when temperatures increase in the noon sun, causing water to evaporate and rise. With the humidity contained, the top point of the structure catches this evaporation before it’s able to escape into the atmosphere. As night falls, the greenhouse top is then opened by pulling the ropes attached to the latch, exposing the collected droplets to cool air. Those droplets then cool and condense, falling into a storage cistern. Related: The Globe (Hedron) Is a Geodesic Greenhouse for Urban Farmers + Roots Up + Roots Up on Indiegogo. While living in Tokyo, Philipp Hutfless, an industrial designer from Germany, saw how much food the Japanese import from abroad.

The industrialized nation just doesn't have a lot of room for agriculture, neither in rural areas nor in cities. His response was to develop Vereos, an idea for coastal cities with limited space for growing food. It's a floating greenhouse that recycles freshwater and gets power from built-in solar panels. The greenhouse is 42 feet square with shelves for growing vegetables inside. Hutfless works at the University of Applied Sciences in Darmstadt, in the middle of Germany.