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Nov 9, 2015 11:36 EST

Grove Ecosystem – Grow Fresh Food In Your Home: The Ecosystem is a fun, beautiful way for you to grow fresh food in your home, all year long. Designed and built by engineers from MIT.

iCrowdNewswire - Nov 9, 2015

At Grove, we want to help more people grow and eat sustainable, organic, and hyperlocal food.

We believe Grove can spark a movement towards trust and ownership in our food system, and we envision in a future where people source most of their food from local farmers, from outside in their garden, and from inside their home. That’s how we are committing to change the future of food, and we’re proud to start with the Grove Ecosystem. 

We want to hear from you!

If you have questions, please give us a call (1-844-457-8500) or email us at [email protected] We’re available from 9a-9p EST and will do our best to respond to all email inquiries within a few hours. Thanks so much!

The Grove team will be hitting the open road in November, hosting demo parties across the country. Come meet us, taste some #grovegrown greens, and play with the Ecosystem at the dates/locations below. Please RSVP here (and use discount code “friendofgrove” for free admission!)

Can’t make one of the live demos? Book a live video demo with a Grove product expert. 

The Grove Ecosystem is an intelligent, indoor garden that makes it possible to grow fresh, flavorful, and nutrient-rich food year round.

A Grove Ecosystem provides you with fresh, healthy produce, brings light and fresh air into your home, and empowers you to understand how to grow your own food.
A Grove Ecosystem provides you with fresh, healthy produce, brings light and fresh air into your home, and empowers you to understand how to grow your own food.

The Ecosystem uses fish, plants, and beneficial microbes to reliably grow delicious produce – including vegetables, herbs, and small fruits – in a space the size of a bookshelf. Through the mobile app, Grove OS, you’ll not only be able to control and automate the Ecosystem, but access decades of indoor growing knowledge which will in turn allow you to grow the healthiest, freshest produce for you and your family. 

The Ecosystem is a living system.

At the intersection of hardware, software, and ecology, the Ecosystem is a thoughtfully crafted fun, educational, and rewarding experience.

 

Getting started is easy. The Ecosystem ships with everything you need to get up and running immediately. Grove OS walks you through the entire process – from planting your first seeds, to adding fish to your tank, to harvesting your first crops. As your seeds turn into sprouts and your plants become ready to harvest, Grove OS measures the health of your system and lets you know when to step in. In just a month and a half you can expect to be harvesting fresh, organic produce!

There are thousands of unique edible plants you can grow. Typical grocery stores carry about 50-60. 

The Grove Ecosystem will expand your palette, helping you grow a wide variety of plants from herbs to leafy greens to fruiting crops. Here’s a shortlist of crops our early customers have been successfully growing in Ecosystem prototypes! 

Please refer to the FAQ section for a full list of what can be grown in the Ecosystem.

Our ecology team has been extensively researching the growing best practices which have been integrated into the Grove OS mobile app. Simply tell Grove OS what you have planted, and the Ecosystem automates lighting, watering, and fans to optimize the growth of your crops.

Trust the food you eat, because you grew it.
Trust the food you eat, because you grew it.

Growing Technical Specifications

  • Grow Area: MGB – 25.25 x 11.5 in / SGB – 20 x 10.5 inches 
  • Canopy Clearance: MGB – 28 in / SGB – 8 in
  • Root Zone Depth: MGB – 8 in / SGB – 3 in
  • Grow Medium: Clay Pebbles

 MGB = Main Grow Bed / SGB = Seedling and Greens Bed

Aquaponics in Action

The Ecosystem utilizes a natural process called aquaponics, which harnesses the relationships between beneficial bacteria, fish, and plants to reliably grow fresh, delicious produce. 

 

The fish process the food they are fed and produce ammonia-rich waste. Beneficial microbes convert the ammonia to nitrates (organic plant fertilizer), simultaneously supplying the plants with nutrients and the fish with clean water!

As a result of this natural process, you don’t have to clean the tank, wash your greens, or worry about the freshness of your food! 

Intelligent and ecologically sound, the Grove Ecosystem, is designed to look beautiful in the home, grow fresh and flavorful food, and engage and inspire you, your family, and your friends. Over time, the system learns with you by collecting data and helping you optimize for flavor, freshness, and yield.

A Connected, Intelligent Device

The Ecosystem creates an ideal environment for your fish and plants by controlling lights, fans, and pumps based on readings from air temperature, humidity, water temperature, and water level sensors. All the tools and training you need to become an aquaponics expert are wrapped up into a fun experience on your phone. Visualize your progress, track plant growth, and diagnose problems instantly.

Smart sensors and Wi-Fi connectivity help you cultivate a healthy Ecosystem 24/7.
Smart sensors and Wi-Fi connectivity help you cultivate a healthy Ecosystem 24/7.

Full Spectrum, Adjustable LED Lights

Custom-engineered by our electrical engineering team, the Ecosystem’s LEDs are full spectrum (2000K – 5000K), fully dimmable, and automated to mimic the sun to power optimal photosynthesis. The lights can also be vertically adjusted to the height of your plants to maximize their growing efficiency.

The Ecosystem contains white LED panels that not only look great in the home, but are best-in-class grow lights.
 
The Ecosystem contains white LED panels that not only look great in the home, but are best-in-class grow lights.

A Large Main Growing Area

The Ecosystem boasts a grow bed with 305 sq inches of grow area and a depth of 8 inches for plenty of healthy root space. With a constant supply of water, nutrients and quality light you can expect a higher level of production than typically seen in an outdoor garden. Additionally, you can plant your crops much denser than in outdoor soil. 

When planted with heirloom lettuce and starting seeds in the dedicated seedling area, you’ll harvest the freshest greens every night (about the equivalent of about 2-3 bags of salad greens every week or 8 – 10 heads of lettuce every 20 days).

Tomatoes to cilantro. Peppers to arugula. Harvest a bounty with plenty of grow space.
Tomatoes to cilantro. Peppers to arugula. Harvest a bounty with plenty of grow space.

Microgreens and Seedling Bed

The Ecosystem’s seedlings and greens bed (SGB) is 230 square inches and perfect for seedlings and microgreens. Once your seedlings are ready, move them to the upper grow bed and watch them reach maturity. 

Increase your productivity with dedicated seedling grow space.
Increase your productivity with dedicated seedling grow space.

Self-Filtering Aquarium

The Ecosystem’s 25 gallon fish tank is where the aquaponic cycle starts. Incorporating integrated aeration and lighting, the 3/8 inch thick acrylic housing is the home for your fish, shrimp, snails, and aquaponic frogs as they create the waste that eventually becomes the fertilizer that is cycled throughout the system. 

Naturally balanced as part of the larger ecosystem, this stunning aquatic habitat will replace your flat screen TV.
 
Naturally balanced as part of the larger ecosystem, this stunning aquatic habitat will replace your flat screen TV.

Integrated Storage Space

Designed into the front panel of the Ecosystem is an inconspicuous storage area and workbench for many of the tools you need – seed packets, fish food, nutrient supplements, scissors, and an aquaponics test kit (for testing pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates). See the FAQ for everything that is included in your Ecosystem purchase. 

Integrated storage and work surface for everything you need to tend to your ecosystem.
 
Integrated storage and work surface for everything you need to tend to your ecosystem.

Hardware Technical Specifications

  • Dimensions: 34″ W x 16″ D x 54-75″ T
  • Weight: 115lbs Empty / 400lbs Full
  • Energy Use: 112 kWh / month*  
  • Wood: Amber bamboo

Grove OS is designed so you can keep it simple with default settings, or delve in and finely tune all aspects or your Ecosystem. We’ve programmed the app with decades of growing knowledge to intelligently control your Ecosystem and serve as a handy gardening guide.

Plant Presets

 

Ecosystem Controls

Our custom LED lights are controlled right from your phone. Presets make harvesting in the dark or Instagramming your luscious greens as easy as opening your phone. 

 

Grove Almanac

Everything you need to be an expert. Our knowledge base on smart indoor gardening, aquaponics, and ecology is constantly growing, including hacks and DIY projects to help you explore! 

 

Push Notifications

Nature is at work in your Ecosystem, and Grove OS is your translator. Plant and fish tracking combine with sensor data to give you timely notifications about what your system needs.

Vacation Mode

Grove OS puts your lights in low-energy mode and conserves water, making it safe to leave an Ecosystem unattended for over a week. 

 

Grove OS Technical Specifications

  • Control: Watering, Light cycles, Light spectrum, Light intensity, Airflow sensor readings, System status warnings
  • Compatibility: iOS (March 2016), Android (April 2016)

Whether you’re planting your first seed or you live in the soil for half the year, feel at home in our thriving community! We’re ready and excited to support you every step of the way.

Grove Community

Grove Community is an online platform to connect with other Grove growers, fresh food enthusiasts, and passionate aquaponic growers. You can ask questions, share tips, post success photos, and revel in your organic experiences! 

Grove Market

The Grove Market is our online marketplace for all your Ecosystem needs. Need more seeds? pH adjuster? Another seedling tray? We have a curated supply list of everything you’ll need to keep your Ecosystem running healthily and happily. Simply visit the Market, select what you need, and we’ll ship it to your doorstep. 

Personalized Support

From planting to harvesting, our growing team is always here to assist you. No question is too small (or too complex). We’re here for emotional and technical support!

Our support team loves assisting and empowering our Grove growers with all the resources and tips they need to be successful!
Our support team loves assisting and empowering our Grove growers with all the resources and tips they need to be successful!

Right Now, 50 Early Adopters in Boston Love Their (prototype) Grove Ecosystems 

These prototypes (which look a bit different from the Grove Ecosystem we’re excited to share with you today) have been used and loved by 50 Early Adopters in Boston for the past six months. See what they have to say about their Grove growing experience:

We’ve iterated on our design based on feedback from our Boston Early Adopters. The new Ecosystem has improved Wi-Fi connectivity, a 1.5x larger gardening bed, and a 3x larger aquarium (for healthier, happier fish). Additionally, we’ve optimized the LEDs for better growing, added a dedicated grow space for seedlings and microgreens, and have refined Grove OS. 

 

Like you saw above with our Boston Early Adopter program, this isn’t our first rodeo. We already have an assembly line in place, fully built out hardware, software, and ecology teams, and have already delivered 50 prototype units. We have the same hardware vendors, 9+ months of ecology testing, and a new mobile app far into development. This is our month-by-month plan from now until delivery: 

The Ecosystem runs on the Photon microcontroller and the Particle platform. This open-source, cloud platform made it quick to get started, and gives us a straightforward path to production and scale. With the Photon, setting up the Ecosystem on wifi and pushing out firmware updates over-the-air are simple, well-tested processes. We’ve been working with the Particle team for the past year and are significant contributors to their software projects.

You’re Supporting a Passionate, Dedicated, Experienced, and Revolutionary Team

We’re a passionate team of MIT engineers, entrepreneurs and inventors, modern farmers, Harvard biologists, designers, food lovers, and impact-driven problem solvers dedicated to developing technology, products, and experiences that enable more people to grow their own food in productive home ecosystems. We’re united by our desire to positively change our world, and we believe that starts with food and sustainability. 

Our core team brings wisdom and experience from SpaceX, Apple, the United States Air Force, the Australian Army, NOLS, GrabCAD, and an ecosystem research farm in West Virginia. Our backgrounds are diverse, but we’re united by a common mission. We’re also fortunate to have a group of advisors, partners, and investors who are contributing their wisdom, capabilities, and networks to help us maximize our positive impact.

From Our Founders: It’s time we learn to live with nature, not against it.

Our reason for starting this project is simple: food production is unsustainable and unhealthy. Co-founders Gabe and Jamie lived together in an MIT fraternity in winter of 2013 when Jamie, frustrated with the current state of food and agriculture, took matters into his own hands and built an aquaponics system in their shared room. After loving that first system, Gabe and Jamie decided to build a beautiful, fun solution to this problem by combining an indoor garden and a Farmville-like mobile app.

Follow us on this adventure!

* Based on typical monthly usage. 

Contact Information:

Grove

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