Produce prices are almost impossible to predict, mostly because of crops ruined by El Nino, global warming, or whatever cause de jour we hear about in the news. The rest of the time we’re hit with stories about E. coli in our spinach or other edible plants being the subjects of genetic manipulation.  Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to avoid all of these problems?

Japan’s largest homebuilder, Daiwa House has come up with a solution to all of these produce related problems wrapped up in a 30 cubic-meter wonder box.  Dubbed the “agri-cube”, this little veggie factory lets you grow 23 different varieties of edible plants from lettuce to basil.

Using hydroponic equipment and fertilizers that are readily available at many home improvement stores but traditionally only bought by pot growers, this box is more than just a vegetable garden – it’s a vegetable factory.  In fact it can churn out 10,000 heads of lettuce in about a year under its ideal conditions.

While still in its infancy, the technology is likely to start out expensive.  In fact Daiwa House is intending to start selling the agri-cube as an add-on for apartment complexes or condos. But with the rate it can grow leafy vegetables, it’s a great fit for building with a lot of people to share the costs.

Other places like restaurants, schools, senior centers, food banks, and so on could benefit from one of these high-yield boxes too.  Imagine getting the freshest possible vegetables instantly and as clean as you want it to be.

The agri-cube could also create mini-food sources in more localized areas in times of emergency, thus helping to prevent food shortages.  If their price goes down like solar panels and other “off-the-grid” technology have been doing, we may see some kick-ass self-sufficient homes in the near future.  Heck, even paying bills might become obsolete… nah probably not.

Source: Daiwa House’s Press Release  (Japanese)

▼「agri-cube S」

[ Read in Japanese ]