New Click & Grow Smart Farm
The edge of innovation. The Smart Farm uses cutting-edge research in plant biology for higher yields, denser growth (up to 30 percent) and more nutritious produce all with zero pesticides, non-GMO seeds and up to 95 percent less water use compared to traditional farming methods.
Rather than relying on hydroponics, the Smart Farm uses a new type of soil called Smart Soil, which Lepp developed in partnership with academic advisors. The soil itself is spongey, allowing air and nutrients to flow through. Meanwhile, the nutrients are covered in a special coating that responds to soil moisture. The hardware, which looks like a glass refrigerator, consists of trays for each plant equipped with efficient LED lights and sensors (electronic precision irrigation - EPI) that detect when the moisture levels are off balance. The “farmer” can use an app to adjust the water levels in the system, which triggers more nutrients to be released.
The system developed in partnership with universities across Estonia, France, and Russia, can hold 50 to 250 plants at a time, making it a viable option for urban areas that don’t have access to fresh produce. Ideally, a shift to urban farming could drastically reduce the distance between where food is grown and where it is consumed.
“Click & Grow can give the plant the perfect conditions to grow, because air, water, and nutrients are dosed perfectly without any obstacles, says Uno Mäeorg, a professor at the University of Tartu in Estonia, who worked with Mattias Lepp (founder of the Estonian startup Click & Grow) on the development of Smart Soil. And since those conditions are perfect for the plant, it provides us healthier plants.”