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LETTUCE GROW: Farmstand – Vertical Garden

Contributions:

  • System Architecture
  • Concept Development
  • Detailed Design
  • Materials Selection
  • Production Ramp-up and Support

Lettuce Grow was born out of a desire to make growing your own food available to everyone regardless of space, know-how, or income. The result was the Farmstand, a thoughtfully designed growing system that uses 95% less water than a raised bed, needs no soil, and runs on less electricity than a light bulb. As a vertical aeroponic system it also has the footprint of a small nightstand. To present all of this complex engineering in a compelling way we partnered with a world class industrial designer to develop a product that feels elegant and organic.

One of the biggest hurdles we encountered on this project was designing the large parts of the Farmstand to be made with safe, sustainable materials. To that end we coordinated materials, assembly, and shipping between multiple companies. The base material, a recycled plastic, comes from Envision Plastics and their OceanBound Plastics program. Envision provided us with a food-safe, post-consumer plastic to start with. We also worked closely with a custom plastics compounder to ensure the material meets our stringent requirements for safety (Food Safe and CA Prop 65 compliant), UV stable for years of outdoor use, and structural performance. This supply chain ensures a quality product made from plastic that would otherwise have ended up polluting the oceans.

Manufacturers in the US produce the parts, including the 20-gallon, blow-molded main tank and complex injection-molded stacking grow layers. The Farmstand is modular, allowing customers to order the size that is right for them with the ability to add more layers later.

The Farmstand requires multiple manufacturing disciplines to be shepherded toward a single goal, but the end result is well worth it. Coordinating between LettuceGrow, the material provider, compounder, molders, and final assembly called for serious attention to logistics. We’re still working with LettuceGrow and their supply chain to develop accessories and upgrades to the Farmstand, so stay tuned…