Indoor Farm at Evergreen, second grow tubes installation in Toronto

January 15, 2011
By admin

Grow tubes are an indoor vertical farming system that can produce several pounds of nutrient rich food every week with very little input.  Designed for a cold climate, these systems support the quick growth of sprouts and micro-greens in dark spaces using energy efficient LEDs.  The entire food production system consumes less than 70 watts of electricity, close to the power used by one average incandescent light bulb.

The future imagined here is not all plastic and LED’s, there is no substitute for food grown in the earth under real sunlight; small and diversified urban agricultural installations are far more efficient.  This installation demonstrates the creative potential of playing with today’s technology, and that organic, healthy food can be immediately within reach with a little planning and imagination.

Evergreen commissioned the production of the tubes for its reception area, which produced a sizable crop of yellow pea shoots, wheat grass,  and sunflowers in its first week of production.

Materials: 6 inch diameter HDPE (high density polyethylene) CSA approved for potable water pipe (no PVC), common hanging hardware, cool white (6500K) SMD 5050 LEDs, 60% recycled aluminum hand fabricated fixtures, FSC cedar, surplus computer parts for wiring and power supply.  Edible plants can include sunflower, yellow and marrow fat peas, arugula, red cabbage, chard, beets, mustard, wheat grass, broccoli rabb, etc.

The soil is a base of coir, a coconut husk waste product, with a top layer of 2 parts fine coir to one part worm casting.  At home I produce all my own worm castings so the only inputs are coir, seeds, and water.

Happy grazing.

Micah Donvan