23 votes

Feedback From Fellow DP Members

Hi Guys
I know that today is an odd day with all of this marathon stuff going on..
Perhaps this will be a good distraction...

i just finished a year long product design project at my local arts college
I would love some feedback if you folks wouldn't mind

The product is called the Growtop - Water Garden
It is a new means of storing and maintaining vegetables in your home

Here is a link to the main project page:
http://www.urban-farming.ca/cms/project

Here is a link to the promotional video I just finished ( a little rough)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MY4eI19_g4

Here is a link to the latest product photography:
http://www.urban-farming.ca/cms/project/139-final-product-ph...

I would very mush appreciate any comments or insights

Thanks In Advance



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Can you grow plants with LED?

It would make it a lot cheaper!

There are some HlED grow lights

They are very expensive at the moment, but as the technology progresses the price will come down

The cheapest is still low priced florescent daylight grow light - <$20

I just use my window and that is more than enough for what I am doing

Awesome!

This looks amazing. Good luck. I hope to have one someday.

Very cool....

Very cool....

Thank You Deng

Hopefully this comes as a positive distraction from the the Marathon mess...

My heart goes out to all those effected..

Jefferson's picture

As

someone who used to do kitchen and bath cabinetry and surface design for 3 years, as well as currently being involved in the hydroponic and aquaponic business, I want to say this is a neat product.

I watched your videos and I think some of your concerns are valid. Obviously space in most existing kitchens is hard to find. Retrofitting may be a challenge, but I could see it in newer high end homes where you have the ability to match the cabinetry going with exterior panels like you would on a Subzero fridge or dishwasher. The cabinet would be a typical 36 inch sink base?

Maybe I missed it but is it all self contained or would you have to tap into the plumbing in the wall somehow? (like an ice maker line?)I could see this possibly being a drop in application like a top mount sink, but might be limited to laminate countertops, as engineered and regular stone is hard and messy to cut on site. You could have a lid that goes over it when it's not in use, to open that countertop space back up.
Also are you depending on an independent light source under the wall cabinets to get the veggies re-rooted and growing again? How would that work on a stand alone unit?
All in all it's sleek and sexy. I could see one of the "Housewives of Beverly Hills" showing it off to her friends. It would definitely seem to be a higher end target market you'd be shooting for.
Interesting concept for sure. Nice job rustle.

Thanks Jefferson (you had me at your name) 8)

Great feedback
I will try to reply as best that I can
1)The overall width is 32" with this model - 29" interior

2) The concept calls to have the appliance plumbed into the main water system, also you may notice in my video that I am holding a Berkey water filter -Thank you DP for that 8)
But the actual model is a standalone system with a reservoir underneath the counter (fish tank + fish). Unfortunately selling the idea of fish to consumers is not popular.. right now

3)The model is a retrofit 'drop in' sink with a custom stainless faceplate.

4) The light requirements necessary to keep food alive is very low. So you probably are ok with no lighting, however if you wish to grow food you will require grow lighting as is demonstrated in my illustrations.
http://urban-farming.ca/cms/project/134-ergonomics-human-fac...

5)You rock thanks for the feedback

Jefferson's picture

Sure!

Sorry for the disjointed post. I was kind of thinking out loud as I was typing.
Have you had any troubles with humidity or mold build up inside the cabinet from having a reservoir in the "stand alone" unit? Smell? Maybe the mobile "stand alone unit" could have an optional sleek light hood similar to what the aerogarden has. (just thinking out loud here)
http://www.aerogarden.com/?cid=ppc_g&gclid=CKvl747dz7YCFQgFn...

BTW, the aerogarden is only good for leafy greens and herbs since its lights are so weak. It's a neat concept, but does not always deliver as the pictures suggest. They may have improved since we first carried them.

It would definitely be cool if this could be plumbed like a sink so you could deal with your supply and wastewater somehow. But, that would seem to present challenges for retrofit. It could still be done with flexible lines that supply from the cold water cutoff, and drain into the garbage disposal hookup like a dishwasher does.
(thinking out loud again)

What kind of lights are you using? Compact T5 fluorescents?

One other thing to maybe consider, and you probably already have. Before a fruit or vegetable is harvested, the media in which it is grown is usually flushed or the nutrients depleted at the end of the plant's life cycle. This keeps the fruit or vegetable from tasting like whatever fertilizer was used on it. I see you've developed a really cool system that regulates the primary nutrients (and PH I think)

Have you had any issues with the flavor of the produce changing from adding nutrient to the solution?

Please forgive my barrage of questions. I really think you have a neat concept here that has potential. I wish you all the best on it.

Great work!!

I just recently had my interests peaked by Aquaponic Gardening so I find this very interesting.

Does the system provide for a separate water source, should your local water supply be fluoridated?

And just to clarify, this is not a growing system but rather a "plant life support" system?

Great product photography. The video needs a little work. The side shots showing all your "stuff" in the background is a bit distracting and may seem unprofessional. Straight on shots with an occasional close up work just fine. Any plans for a Kickstarter?

"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience"—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Thanks Freedom Ninja

No the appliance does not provide water, however the concept calls for a filter to be used, if you are drawing water from the plumbing system. In the video I am holding a Berkey Water Filter

Also your clarification is correct, this is about vegetable storage & maintenance, although this would be a very successful (and fancy) growbed if you wanted to use it that way.

Also with regards to the feedback on the video - I agree with your criticisms, I must say that I am no Scorscese.

I don't know

I have two thoughts.

#1. Expand the entire concept for cpommercial grocery stores produce sections.

#2. What is needed is a commerical applience that makes sprouting easier, as they have become a target for the EPA foodborn illness from too much handling, inabilty to control tempuratures.. sprouts that are griwn in dirt.. wheatgrass.. perhaps your idea could be modified to accomidate that need?

Excellent Thoughts -Thank You

I agree about the retail/commercial version - it makes a lot of sense on a lot of levels.

What prevents...

bacterial and algal communities from forming? Bacteria and algae communities are normal in healthy soils but in indoors humid settings can do funky things (molds and fungi specifically)...

.
~wobbles but doesn't fall down~

nothing

But it is easy to flush the system out if necessary

clean the beads in the basin and flush water through the system

so far my working model which has been going for 6 month now hasn't been a problem..

What solution...

do you clean the beads with?

.
~wobbles but doesn't fall down~

Soap And Water

And then flush it out a bunch of times with water - I am sure that is not the most technical of solutions but it works ! 8)

JustLiberty4US's picture

I think this is a great idea

I think this is a great idea Rustle. It also has other practical implications. It would make unpacking groceries even easier AND save room in the fridge (two things I dread: unpacking and trying to find room for my kale, spinach, greens, etc).

There is definitely a market. What is the price point? Do you have a patent so that someone doesn't rip off your idea?

Your presentation was very sleek; I liked it. If I was had to be really picky, I would suggest you put something behind you besides that white erase board. I kept expecting you to get up and write something on it.

Congratulations on a great idea!

Thanks JustLiberty4US

Because of the material - stainless steel, this product would have to be pricey - in the Miele appliance price point

but if less expensive materials like, slip cast ceramics, cast concrete, or plastics were used, it could be very inexpensive -less than 1000

With regards to the video, i plan to have animations on the dry erase board, I just had to cut my losses and hand it in.. 8)

It is very attractive.

It does not really appeal to me as a user, but I do aquaponics and farming.

Love or fear? Choose again with every breath.

Thank You

Awesome - I do DIY aquaponics as well,

this is definitely not designed for the average DIY'er(like you and I), more for the high end foodies right now, with the idea of expanding it into the mass market, with less expensive materials than stainless steel

But I always find that it is a good idea to tailor new products to a high end market to start, in order to genrate buzz & desire