Grow vegetables in kitchen

ABU DHABI — Now you don’t need to go to the market for fresh vegetables, and instead you grow them in your kitchen without using soil, pesticides and fertilizer with the help of a clean and an economical technology.


Nissar Hoath

Published: Wed 19 Jan 2011, 11:45 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 4:26 AM

A South Korean company, Semi-Materials, has brought an indoor vegetable plant factory with its sizes ranging from a microwave to a field with multiple chambers for marketing and exhibition at the fourth World Future Energy Summit in the capital.

“It is very economical and environment-friendly as it is operated on solar energy and requires only LED light and water — no soil, no pesticides and no fertilizer. Just keep the seeds on one of the levels of this fridge-size machine and soon you will have the vegetables and fruit available to take — but let you know, at least now you cannot grow a date palm, in future it might be possible,” Luis Kang, US Branch Sales Manager, told Khaleej Times.

He said it was just like opening your fridge and take out fruits and vegetables to eat.

According to him, the end-product will be same as natural vegetables grown in farm, but cleaner and without any disease as no soil is used “and therefore there will be no worms, no bacteria, and there will be no dust because they are grown inside glass-made chambers with fresh water running below the seeds and plants. They are protected from winds and dust as well”.

He said everything, including temperature, light, water that circulates and oxygen is controlled on the same pattern as natural vegetables are grown with the use of this technology or the machine called Plant Factory.

The product on display had both seeds of potatoes and lettuce to grow and the final products in the mini agriculture farm at the exhibition. With the technology, people now can enjoy dust-and-sand-free fruits and vegetables, especially potatoes and herbs like mint leaves and corianders that need to be washed several times.

About their health impacts, Kang said: “These are grown from natural seeds in a natural atmosphere but using a modern technology. They are as pure as organic products. They are not laboratorial modified products. They are sort of artificial, but not modified.”

Another positive thing about the technology he said was that they are protected from strong winds unlike green house farms – “they are better than green house vegetables”.

Kang further added the mini-factory is already available in South Korea and Japan where people have them in their kitchens to grow their own fresh vegetables. He said its price is $200 per square metre – the more you pay the bigger veg farm you will have in your house.

About the interest shown for the product at the exhibition, he said visitors have shown lots interest, particularly those local government departments. “Even senior government officials from here have shown keen interest saying the technology could solve the issue of food security and future challenges,” he said.

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