When did our food become so… alien? Most of us don’t grow it ourselves, and when we buy it, it’s covered in plastic (a material that’s not naturally created on earth!). Want to get back to your roots? Yes, we mean that literally. There’s an app for that!
Queue Plaant. They have created a smart, indoor greenhouse that doesn’t require soil, and gives you instructions on when and how much to water. Plaant combines smart technology with innovative design techniques to create their indoor greenhouses. It only takes six to twelve weeks, depending on the crop, for a seed to grow into a ready-to-harvest plant.
And that’s not all: hydroponic farming saves water, decreases emissions, and reconnects real people with well, real food. We sat down with Tore Tullberg, co-founder and CEO of Plaant, to explore his smart greenhouses.
Hi Tore! How did you come up with this idea?
The short answer is that it was something the founders wanted for ourselves. We brainstormed for a while before we came up with the idea. We basically worked on Plaant all day, every day. There were many late hours in hotel lobbies. Then we got the chance to be a member of Norrsken.
We’re so glad to have you here! What's been your journey at Norrsken?
I’m from the banking industry, and not to throw any shade, but Norrsken’s office environment is amazing. There’s also a lot of passionate and helpful people here. We’ve just entered the pre-launch phase, and Norrsken is helping us with events, PR, and finding the right connections. It’s a great community and a good place to network.
So, tell us more about this amazing thing you’ve created!
Basically, it’s an indoor garden, like a small greenhouse. But cool. And smart. We use hydroponics, which means the crops grow only in water. Compared to regular soil-based gardening you actually save 90% more water with hydroponic gardening methods. Greens in the store are often imported from Spain or Italy which emits a lot of CO2. Herbs especially have a high negative impact since they are transported with a lot of air.
Wow, so you’re saying that you could really make an impact if you grew your own herbs?
Yes, and we’ve made it super easy. Thanks to automation and our app, we’ve eliminated the guessing game like when to water and if the plant is getting enough light. The only thing left for you to do is harvest and enjoy your crops.
Gardening is not a talent of mine, and that’s a big part of why we started Plaant, so even those without a green thumb can enjoy homegrown greens.
It’s so easy to walk into any grocery store and buy the greens you need. Why is it important to grow your own?
We need to reconnect with what food really is, and where it comes from. It’s become too foreign. It’s liberating for me as an urban citizen to have the ability to grow my own food, and always have fresh greens at home. Last but not least, there’s less food waste since you eat what you grow directly, and the crops live longer in the greenhouse than in your fridge. Before when I bought basil from the store, it only lived about two days, until it started to go bad. But that’s not how it’s supposed to be; in our greenhouse, the plants live all year round.
Do you need any pesticides to keep the plants alive?
No, you don’t since they grow in an isolated environment. Our plants contain more nutrients and antioxidants than store-bought greens. And the one thing that blew my mind the most is that self-grown lettuce actually has a taste.