HeimFarm

Johannes Müller

Juli / July - 2019

Weißensee Kunsthochschule Berlin

What is it?

While concepts are already emerging to produce fragile crops directly in the supermarket and harvest them on-demand, HeimFarm goes one step further and gives back part of its food sovereignty to city dwellers without green thumbs. Through an intelligent Urban Farming 4.0 system, the automated production of salads and herbs is carried out in domestic environments. HeimFarm supplies a 1-3 person household with fresh leafy vegetables in a constantly growing manner. Harvest and eat - HeimFarm. Far from environmental pollution and pesticides.

What is the Topic?

An anomaly is followed by a correction. After man lived in close proximity to his food sources during his lifetime, industrialisation changed this only 200 years ago. Since then, especially city dwellers have lost touch with the origin of their food. Especially for fragile crops such as salads and herbs, aeroponic irrigation systems and vertical farming make it possible to grow within urban areas again. This not only saves large amounts of water, fertilizer and pesticides, but also relieves the entire external logistics of supplying a city.

Why does it look like this?

Firstly, it must be possible to provide the plants with uniform lighting. In addition, a closed root space is necessary to counteract temperature fluctuations in time and to prevent nutrients from escaping from the system, which is why a seven-storey grow column was created, in which four growing areas are arranged horizontally at a 90° angle on each floor. Each level is rotated by 45° to each other in order to offer the plants below the column the best possible space by offsetting them laterally. The planting places themselves are in turn vertically inclined at 45° to achieve an optimum compromise between minimum plant packing size and best growth orientation. HeimFarm harmoniously combines the functional requirements in a design that makes the freshly growing contents a positive eye-catcher in the living room as well.

What is special?

The HeimFarm as a kind of vegetable vending machine does all the things that require a lot of time and experience. Sensors keep a constant eye on the temperature of the root chamber, the growth status of the foliage, the pH value and nutrient content of the water and the required light intensity. An app provides all the information about the condition of the seedlings. Only the preparation of the nutrient solution and replanting of seedlings remain as care tasks. And the harvest: Enjoy fresh vegetables from our own home (farm) production.

What is new?

The heart of the HeimFarm can hold up to 28 cuttings. 7 per week. With a transport box, new seedlings can be picked up from the supermarket from week to week. After three weeks the first ration is ready for harvest. A rearing and harvesting cycle is created. To ensure uniform lighting of the plants both in daylight and at night with supplementary lighting, the column rotates slowly but steadily. This also makes it possible to respond to specific situations, such as the deliberate slowing of growth in the case of plants ready for harvesting or, conversely, by providing a weekly series of plants with shorter or longer lighting intervals.