The Balancing Act
We've spent nearly a year trying to find a combination of materials for the plant pads that wouldn't degrade and fall apart during a couple months inside the nanofarm, but would still be biodegradable in the long run. As of last week, we've mastered the balancing act. The new design of the plant pads holds up great inside the nanofarm, and will degrade fully in one year in a healthy compost heap or in a municipal composting facility.
The new plant pads are made of layers of paper, minerals, and wax. The functionality of the plant pad remains the same. It still wicks water to hydrate your seeds, provides aeration to the roots, releases nutrients slowly over the grow cycle, fights the growth of algae and mold, and limits excess evaporation of water. It just does all these things with a new set of materials. We looked to nature to see how plants have been able accomplish these feats, and we took a page from their book.
Why This is Important
The nanofarm is not a gadget. We intend it to be a viable alternative to buying industrially-grown produce from the grocery store. We feel that it's our duty to make sure nanofarming is not just as sustainable as our current food system, but more sustainable. People are realizing that shipping food hundreds of miles is not sustainable, but neither is shipping hundreds of pounds of soil for growing. A 1 oz. plant pad can replace 10 lbs. of the most fertile soil, and we hope that helps nanofarming to become the least resource-intensive way to eat. With plant pads now being biodegradable, we feel we've closed the cycle. By returning old plant pads to the earth, we can be sure we'll always be able to make new ones in the future.