Aqua Design Innovations

A new product focuses on making it easy to grow microveggies, which are said to be up to 40 times more nutrient-rich than the full-grown versions.

The folks at Aqua Design Innovations, who have a few previously successful projects under their belts, have launched a new campaign that aims to help people quickly and easily grow microgreens in a small space at home, without soil. I have written about both the EcoQube (a desktop aquaponics demonstration system) and the EcoQube Air (a desktop hydroponic greenhouse) in the past few years, and the team knows how to deliver on its crowdfunding promises. The company is now offering a bit different of a home growing device with its new EcoQube Frame.

This latest campaign, which rapidly blew past its initial crowdfunding goal on Kickstarter, is offering a steep discount to early backers of this tabletop (or wall-mounted) vertical microgreens garden. The Frame measures 11.5" long x 8.9" tall x 3" deep, and holds two "seed pads" that can hold up to 100 seeds each, along with a watering reservoir at the bottom that keeps the seed pads and the microveggie roots moist through wicking action, so there’s no need to manually water them.

According to the campaign page, the EcoQube Frame can grow more than $20 worth of microgreens in 10 days, which would make the payback time on the units less than a month (assuming that money would have been spent buying microgreens at retail prices).

"Micro-veggies have up to 40x the nutrients that their fully-grown counterparts (e.g. regular veggies) have, but are often expensive to purchase (often costing around $30 – $50 per week to eat) and messy. With the Frame, you can grow up to $20 worth of micro-veggies in 10 days for under $5 and keep your home clean!"

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The replacement seed pads are estimated to cost about $1.99 each, and are said to be made from compostable natural fibers. According to the campaign page, the company is exploring the option of offering pre-seeded pads, so all that is necessary is dropping in the seed pad and adding water, but at the moment, it appears that users will be seeding their own pads with their choice of microgreens. Another option for those who may not want to grow a tiny edible garden on their wall or table, is to plant succulents or other small plants in the seed pads.

EcoQube Frames are being offered to early backers of the campaign at the $39 level (said to be $30 off of full retail value), and the company estimates shipments of the product to backers in December of 2017. More information about the company can be found at its EcoQube website.