Stainless steel has been used for years in appliances and cookware for its beauty and longevity. We're glad to be bringing those qualities to one of the nanofarm's most important components.
We're pleased to offer a new variety of plant pad - wheatgrass! Popular for its juice taken in shots or smoothies, wheatgrass is an extremely quick grower. The time from putting in a wheatgrass plant pad to harvest is about 7 days.
One tray made a few wheatgrass shots when juiced, and we put them into a tasty smoothie. Here's the mix (yields three one-pint servings)
- 3 wheatgrass shots
- 1 1/2 bananas, frozen
- 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup spinach, frozen
- 3/4 cup kale, frozen
- unsweetened soy milk - add to desired thickness
Turned out great! With all those greens in there you'd expect it to taste bitter, but thanks to the sweetness of fresh-harvested wheatgrass, this smoothie is perfectly balanced.
Thanks to 220 backers pledging $61,070, replantable's Kickstarter campaign was a success. Fulfillment of the Kickstarter rewards will begin in November 2016 and conclude by October 2017.
Today marks the end of the nanofarm beta test. Beta testers have grown anywhere from 2-4 crops of food in their nanofarms and have been enjoying their home-grown produce. We are now confident that the nanofarm can reliably grow produce with no user effort.
Although the nanofarm was successful in growing produce, the beta testers had plenty of constructive criticism to offer:
- The light is way too bright at night. It lights up the entire apartment (some beta testers even resorted to draping a dishcloth over the front of the unit)
- When do I harvest? No way to know
- Not enough time to harvest - water runs out soon after plants reach maturity
- Plant Pad is hard to remove from tray after each grow cycle
- When full of water, the tray is difficult to carry to the nanofarm without spilling
These design issues will certainly be addressed in the production version of the nanofarm.
A replantable nanofarm was displayed at NASA Kennedy Space Center. The nanofarm was converted to an algal bio-reactor to simulate a potential use case for space colonies. The exhibit was open first to NASA scientists and engineers and then open to the general public.
Two schools in the Atlanta public school system, Maynard H. Jackson High School and Benjamin Elijah Mays High School, as well as Ridgeland High School in the Walker County school district have begun to use nanofarms as an educational tool. Replantable supplied a high-school level curriculum of experiments that illustrate concepts spanning biology, chemistry, and physics.
"The benefit of using the nanofarm in the classroom over traditional soil gardening is that the nanofarm gives you complete control over the important variables that affect plant growth. For example, students can give one set of experimental plants an increased level of potassium and see how that changes the growth of the plant. That type of control is hard to get with traditional gardening methods." - Ruwan Subasinghe (founder, replantable)
In addition to the set of experiments that can be performed with the nanofarm, students get to see for themselves how the food they eat is grown. The modular nature of the nanofarm also allows many different experiments to be run in a small amount of space.