Home Grow Micro Farms Takes the Guesswork Out of Urban Gardening
Living according to your ideals is easier said than done. Look at me – my interest in growing my own food has manifested itself in a single tomato I am irrationally unwilling to pick and a series of perished herb plants. I want to be the person with a thriving veggie garden, but I'm sadly lacking the space and know-how. Lucky for me and other Angelenos, the husband and wife team of Lucas Brower and Jesse Kamm offer an easy and affordable solution - Home Grow Micro Farms. Inspired by a rooftop garden they built with friends, Home Grow uses self-irrigated planters that grow more vegetables, faster.
Home Grow Micro Farms makes it simple. All you need is a 1 x 3 ft space that gets 5 hours of direct sunlight. Home Grow farm technicians will pre-plant the vegetable of your choice and come to your house to set up the planter box, complete with detailed plant-specific instructions and home-brewed organic pest remedies. Best of all, the plants drink from a reservoir of water, which means you don't have the chance to murder them with over or under-watering. When the plant is no longer producing, Home Grow will come swap out the box for a new seasonally appropriate vegetable, bringing the old plant to a composting facility and recycling much of the soil for future boxes. It's a great option for newbies like me, or people who have had gardens in the past but fell out of it after a disappointing harvest or busy schedules.
Lucas and Jesse, who also work together on Jesse's clothing line, try to keep as much of the business in-house as possible and live by a mantra of slow growth. In the short term, they're focusing on making their process more efficient and upping preventive measures against common plant pests and diseases. Soon, they'll be adding other urban farming services like honey and egg production. In the long term, Home Grow will offer franchising rights to other cities and provide training, support, web services, PR and equipment to their partners.
Besides the obvious health and educational benefits of these micro farms, Lucas is finding that Home Grow is just the beginning for his clients. He explains, "by growing food with Home Grow, many of my clients end up incorporating other sustainable activities into their lifestyle. Whether that manifests itself as an increased interest in getting to know their local farmers and a deeper dedication to eating local food, or the inclusion of a grey water recycling system in their home, there tends to be a snowball effect."
As more people become aware of and are interested in our food production system, we'll need more companies like Home Grow to offer accessible steps towards a more sustainable lifestyle. Having a small yard, busy life, and no gardening experience no longer excludes you from growing your own food, opening up a whole new group of people to the journey from plant to plate.
One planter box costs $100 for 4 months
Photo by Reggie Casagrande