Day 76: Fresh Futurism

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March 16, 2012 by Alex Hoekstra

I’ve remarked before about how dangerous I think our current trajectory for food production is.  We’ve developed an industrial food system to provide for a massive amount of hungry world citizens, but the system we built was not – is not – equipped for the kind of future we’re moving towards.  With more people, less space, costlier fuel and a greater demand for pest, disease and weather resistant food, we’re in need of a revolutionary new approach that will keep us fed while accounting not only for how effective it is in its ability to deliver food, but how efficient it is in not costing the space, water, time or fuel that we’re currently burning through.  I, like many others, have a lot of hope for home-based agriculture.  I, however, apparently unlike many others, am wary of the dependence on people involved in the production of their own food.  In other words, I’m not sure that “DIY” is suitable for everyone; frankly, I think we’ve all got better things to do, and most of the time, would much rather buy food at a supermarket than spend time to grow it at home – the convenience is too much to ignore, and lets us all do things other than farm day and night.  “DIY” is a tough hurdle to jump when it comes to coming up with a home-based solution, but fortunately, today’s project is laying the geodesic framework for a solutions that’s less “DIY” and more…”DII” – Does it Itself.

The goal is to grow whatever you want, whenever you want, wherever you are. Horto domi is Latin for ‘Garden at home.’ It’s a statement to healthful food independence, a “neo-renaissance” tip of the hat to Arduino, and it sounds like horticultural dome.

Think: victory garden of the future.  Not only will this automated, robo-greenhouse provide bright, tasty and fresh food, it will do so with the sort of efficiency that only a machine could guarantee.  Horto Domi is the prototype for what I hope is a continuously-evolving line of automated gardens, greenhouses and perhaps one day whole farms.  It’s the next step towards a better way to grow, eat and live, and so I hope you’ll join me in backing this project before May 9.


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