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ROOT brings the farm to your table (or closet)
ROOT brings the farm to your table (or closet)

ROOT brings the farm to your table (or closet)

November 19, 2014

Ohneka Farms just launched ROOT, a smart countertop garden appliance, on Indiegogo on yesterday and have already raised $9,768 toward their $75,000 target. ROOT can grow up to 16 vegetables, herbs and leafy greens hydroponically and contains an automated LED light and watering system that can be controlled via a mobile app.

ROOT has a small footprint and the company claims that it’s easy-to-use re­­­­­gardless of space or light limitations and designed the system to scale the commercial urban farm down to the countertop with its patent pending technology.

“We created ROOT to address the lack of consumer friendly products on the market. The hydroponics industry is primarily composed of hobbyists, so we wanted to scale down existing industrial technology for the home user” noted co-founder and product lead, Brielle Pettinelli. Co-founder and design lead, Eric De Feo, added, “We really wanted to create a growing solution that would fit seamlessly into people’s lives.”

The LED light system uses various parts of the color spectrum to optimize plant growth. Sensors are integrated to adjust to light output for different environments. A built-in water system ensures that plants receive adequate water and nutrients. ROOT is a connected device, allowing users to sync and control the light and watering cycles from a mobile app. Additionally, the app will sync with ROOT to send notifications and alerts when water or nutrient levels are running low.

The company highlights some of the vegetables, herbs and flowers that can be grown with their system:

  • Lettuces: watercress, romaine, butter, Boston
  • Leafy greens: Swiss chard, kale, mustard greens
  • Leafy herbs: basil, cilantro, parsley, mint
  • Woody herbs: rosemary, thyme, oregano
  • Vine plants: cherry & grape tomatoes, small hot peppers
  • Edible flowers: chamomile, wild flowers

We noticed that one herb, popular in Colorado, is suspiciously absent.

Co-founders Eric and Brielle met in the Integrated Product Design Master’s program at The University of Pennsylvania. They were interested in urban agriculture and decided to design their own solution to growing because they were tired of hacking together workarounds. They have built an interdisciplinary team to make ecology the focus of Ohneka’s design.

ROOT is not the only one to get into the home garden appliance space. Others include Sustainable Microfarms, which raised $58,000 on an  Indiegogo campaign, and Grove which raised a $2M seed round earlier this year.

To learn more about ROOT you can visit their campaign here:

Have news or tips? Email [email protected]


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