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    Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables in Cube

    Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetablesi
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    February 10, 2016 9:35 PM
    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Deborah Block

    A new tool is giving new meaning to the term “homegrown.”

    A farm cube is being sold as a foolproof, high-tech gardening system that grows vegetables and other plants inside the home. You can even control the cube using an app on a smartphone or computer.

    A Taipei-based company has developed the 1 meter by 2 meter, 85 centimeter tall enclosed ecosystem, designed to grow food indoors. The cube can grow between 100 and 200 vegetables every six weeks, depending on their size, said Jack Ting, chief executive officer of OPCOM, the company that developed the idea. 

    The cube uses hydroponics — growing plants without soil, where nutrients are dissolved in water and fed directly to the roots. Seedlings are placed in the cube, which uses sensors and automated farming software to control the amount of air, water, fertilizer and LED light available as the plants grow.

    Foolproof farming

    There is no guesswork.

    A fan directs the air flow. Red light promotes the growth of the seedlings. White light supports established plants. The water is purified by ultraviolet light, making it very safe, Ting said.

    And there is no need to wash the vegetables, he added.

    With the app, you can monitor the growing process or make adjustments to the air temperature, humidly, light settings and more.

    So, instead of picking vegetables outside that may have those pesky bugs, you can harvest produce inside your home using a farm cube.

    The catch? The system is expensive, with each tray costing $1,000.

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