Infarm: A New Approach to Indoor Farming
In 2013, Erez and Guy Galonska and Osnat Michaeli decided to start developing hydroponic systems in their Berlin home. Two years later, INFARM, their “farming incubator”, provides farmers and homeowners alike with the tools they need to grow fresh, local, organic produce from the comfort of their homes, no matter what the season. Garden Collage headed to Berlin to find out more.
INFARM is a “farming incubator” which seeks to provide urban communities with all the tools they need to develop the home and office gardens, no matter what the season. Erez and Guy Galonska and Osnat Michaeli envisioned INFARM as a way to break the travel-dependent food cycle that dominates a the global food system. Statistics show that our food travels about 1500 km and goes through 28 different pairs of hands before it arrives to our plate. This process takes out most of the vital nutrients our body and mind are optimally designed to absorb, and without them a multitude of problems arise– to say nothing of all the energy wasted in transport.
This economic reality motivated the INFARM team to find a way to grow their own food without giving up modern city life. Their vision started with a pipe garden in a tiny Berlin living room to a company with international orders and a multidisciplinary team of professionals helping to shape the future of urban farming.
The team first built a hydroponic system with 10 meters of pipe garden at their house in Neukölln. They hung it vertically and created space for a total of 150 plants. It took them about a month to build, but one month after planting the seeds they had a functional, thriving garden. From there, they moved the pipes and equipment from their home to a studio that was just 20 square meters and continued to experiment, constructing an installation of tomatoes that grew three meters high inside of a pipe.
To this day, INFARM conducts their own horticultural research in an extensive in-house lab where they test out various strategies for urban farming with a variety of watering systems, light spectrums, plant species, and technological integration. The team has a 3D printer to produce lab elements that aren’t already available on site, which often leads to new innovations like an origami-inspired mini-greenhouse that can grow microgreens in 5-14 days. Check out the slideshow below for an inside look at their innovative workshop in Berlin.