WHERE IT ALL STARTED
Growth substrates, such as compost or sand are expensive and heavy, and their transportation represents several logistical challenges. For example, at the peak of research activities at a plant science institution, two tons of compost may last between four to six months. While this might not be an issue in locations with good transportation links, but in remote and isolated environments lacking suitable infrastructure, the use of high-quality compost needs to be maximised. We aim to develop a nutrient-rich, lightweight growth substrate that will facilitate the growth and management of crops in remote locations, space and eventually, other planets. We have designed a concept whereby seeds can be germinated in a closed and controlled micro-environment.
The “giving every seed the best start in life” mindset aims to maximise the potential of each individual seed, in order to use seed stocks more efficiently, while maximising productivity. This concept will not only help to farm in a more sustainable way, but facilitate the mass growth of plants in screening experiments. Our goal is to develop low-cost tools that will re-strategise how farmers grow, track in real-time and maintain their crops.