Aamar Khwaja and Heather Dubbeldam - Modgarden

Urban farming is an increasingly popular movement which seeks to decrease the distance between urban dwellers and the food they eat by finding new ways of growing produce in the home. Modgarden – conceived by entrepreneur and inventor Aamar Khwaja and designed by Dubbeldam Architecture + Design – responds to this emerging trend by providing a modular garden that allows individuals to grow herbs and leafy greens indoors year-round, in an organic, living soil environment. The primary goals of Modgarden are to enable cities and city-dwellers to grow organic food at or close to their homes using regenerative and sustainable techniques, and to provide global renewable Agri-Tech solutions for optimum human health.

A private Agricultural Technology (Agri-Tech) Canadian company, Modgarden has spent the past four years and over $1 million designing and developing innovative, disruptive products and processes that are extensions of traditional regenerative farming. Further, Modgarden has worked collaboratively with Dalhousie University of Agriculture to develop, , Heirloom ModSoil™, a proprietary soil recipe that takes you back 100 years when soil was untouched. Studies using ModSoil™ have shown plants to be healthier, containing full spectrum minerals thus nutritionally more absorbable to the human body.

Responding to some of urban farming’s biggest challenges, Modgarden’s tinyFarm design is compact and modular, and is inherently flexible – it can sit on the counter or on the floor – making it an easy fit for homes of any size. Designed as an automated micro farm growing system, it includes specialized full-spectrum LED growing lights that mimic the sun with an integrated irrigation system.

tinyFarm employs an automated process that allows users to essentially ‘set it and leave it’, with an App helper made to guide them through ‘earth-to-seed-to-palate’. The App relays information to the user such as harvest recommendations, minerals consumed during the day, and self-adjusts the unit based on environmental variables. An automated watering system via a water tank is connected to the app which sends you reminders of when to refill the tank. To accommodate for larger families, tinyFarm allows for built-in modularity, where users can stack up to four tinyFarms atop one another, increasing edible plant production area. Through ongoing research and development ModGarden’s subsequent iterations enable harvesting of taller, wider and deeper plants such as root vegetables.

Conceptualized as a staple of the modern urban household, tinyFarm’s sleek form is made of a reclaimed and repurposed material, a combination of molded plastic, metal and natural materials, in keeping with its environmentally-friendly mandate. The sleek, minimalist aesthetic of tinyFarm couples functionality with elegant form. It allows for a seamless integration into just about any interior, while simultaneously allowing urban dwellers to experience and appreciate the process of harvesting their own produce and enjoying the benefits of eating organic, local vegetables.

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