Fresh produce is an important cornerstone of a healthy diet, and if Click & Grow gets a say, it wants to make that easier by inviting you to grow your own food, right at home. The company today launches the Click & Grow 25, which it says is designed “to provide a farmers’ market food experience.”
The company’s product comes with a plant subscription, and is aiming to “disrupt inefficient food supply chains and lower the cost of enjoying healthy food,” focusing in particular on leafy green vegetables. The benefit is two-fold; of everything you have in your fridge, leafy greens get sad the fastest — according to some studies, 60% of ’em go to waste before we get a chance to make like rabbits and wolf ’em down. Leafy greens are also one of the most readily available sources of vitamin A, vitamin C and other nutrients. Red and dark green leafy vegetables are high in antioxidants, Vitamin B6 and other nutrients.
Click & Grow is offering an opportunity to make food hyper local — how much more local could it get if you tuck into a salad while you can see the place the greens were grown? The company claims that its life-cycle analysis shows that between reduced food waste and reduced transportation costs, the tech results in 2.6 times lower CO2 emissions compared to traditional ways of growing and consuming greens.
The tech aims to make growing plants as easy as throwing a Nespresso capsule in a machine to make coffee. The company has developed Smart Soil plant pods that maintain the levels of moisture, nutrients, oxygen and pH that the plants need. In addition, there is automatic watering and energy-efficient LED lights to help the garden do its thing.
“I started the company with a dream to make fresh food widely available and accessible and with the Click & Grow 25, we’re taking a big step in making it happen in a sustainable way,” Mattias Lepp, founder and CEO of Click & Grow said in an email to TechCrunch. “With the impact of population growth and the demand on our natural resources, it is inevitable for us to become more self-sufficient. I believe we are all going to be growing some of our food at home soon and I’m certain we’ve developed the best solution to do just that.”
The solution uses a tray system, where some greens can be actively growing, while fully grown trays of food can be set aside and consumed. It means that the grow appliance can always be in action, and over time you can work up to a cadence that means you always have fresh produce ready to go. The company claims that the things you need to do to take the garden running take just a few minutes a week. If your household is a particularly heavy consumer of leafy greens, the units can stack, so you can grow a lot more greens with a limited footprint in your house.
It ain’t cheap, though: The Click & Grow costs $630 without a subscription or, $730 with one. The subscription costs $39.95/mo, which gets you 90 pods every four months. Arguably, that’s cheaper than buying a $6 box of salad every few days, but not by much. For comparison, I grow my own hydroponic leafy greens. A kit costs $110 or so, and you can buy 4,000 seeds for $25. Add some nutrients, and you’re looking at less than $10 per crop of greens. Although I suppose, I do spend 15-20 minutes per week tending to the hydroponics, checking PH values and adding nutrients, so if convenience is your prime directive, perhaps this is a good option. Mind you, there are also competitors like the AeroGarden Farm Family, or the company’s smaller appliances, that are a lot less hassle than building and managing your own hydroponic systems.
Click & Grow 25 is going on sale today.