NetZero // Urban Agriculture
Grow Love. Feed. Every. Body.

Resources » Microgreens Benefits and Decentralized Farming

Our systems are so durable you can pass them on to your children and grandchildren.

My son gobbling down our first batch of healthy and tasty microgreens.
My son gobbling down our first batch of healthy and tasty microgreens.

Benefits of Decentralized Farming

The concept of decentralized farming is to grow food near the people who eat it. Fruits and vegetables should not be grown in California and 'stuck on a truck' for five days, traveling cross country to the east coast. Grow food where the people are and deliver it the same day it is harvested.
  • Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tonnes — gets lost or wasted.
  • Food losses and waste amounts to roughly US$ 680 billion in industrialized countries and US$ 310 billion in developing countries.
  • Global quantitative food losses and waste per year are roughly 30% for cereals, 40-50% for root crops, fruits and vegetables, 20% for oil seeds, meat and dairy plus 35% for fish.

Source: http://www.fao.org/save-food/resources/keyfindings/en/

  • Fertilizers, such as nitrogen, have increased crop production but have also acidified soil, polluted water and contributed to global warming.
Source: https://tinyurl.com/ybqvzqw7

"The more we can decentralize our food production, bringing it closer to our homes, and the less reliant we are on distant food suppliers and fossil fuel-powered transportation networks, the better off we'll all be." Katherine Martinko, treehugger.com

Net Zero Agriculture System Benefits

  1. We reduce financial risk for growers. Crops are grown indoors, not subjecting them to pests, storms, droughts, or diseases.
  2. Consumers are not subject to herbicides or pesticides since there are no weeds or pests to kill.
  3. Our systems eliminate harmful nitrogen based fertilizers since our microgreens grow without soil.
  4. Our systems stack vertically and horizontally, giving growers three planes (length, width, height (X, Y, Z)) instead of two (length, width (X, Y)); this extra dimension substantially increases the crop yield per unit area.
  5. Microgreens are up to 40 times more dense in nutrition - much more so than the actual full grown vegetable or herb. (Source: WebMD - https://tinyurl.com/ycmrx8e4 ).
  6. Most exciting, we have devised a way to control energy to grow plants so that 1) there is a net zero carbon emission when using solar panels and 2) IoT sensors connected to the systems send data to our cloud so growers (home, individual, municipal, urban, restaurants, commercial, government/NGO) may remotely monitor and control systems. With Net Zero systems, growers control the environment with closed loop systems.

Germinated greens

Hal shows his method of growing microgreens in coco weave in his Pro Series PS002 - Microgreens Maker 30x60x2.

Microgreen Nutrition

The Benefits

  • remotely manage crops from the web or mobile devices
  • reduce manual labor
  • eliminate nitrogen-based fertilizers, which damage the environment and contribute to global warming, since our systems can grow greens without soil.
  • conserve natural resources by maximizing yield per unit of space (growing vertically) and
  • increased the number of harvest cycles to 9-14 days, which produces more food in less time
  • reduce operating costs by maximizing light when its needed: germination, maturity, reproduction. Our water pumps and LED can run off solar panels.
  • reduce landfill of toxic fluorescent and other grow-specific light bulbs (lead, mercury, and others). We use environmentally friendly LED bulbs to produce more light per bulb.
  • No chemical pesticides or herbicides because crops grow indoors - organic and natural
  • Food is fresh as can possibly be since you harvest when you want to eat. Food is not "stuck on a truck" from California for days.
  • Eliminate salmonella or e. coli poison (Take precautions. Always wash greens.)
  • Cleanliness: Grow food without soil, so no clogged water pumps, no mess, conforms to restaurant no-soil code.
  • Easy to assemble. Only tool required is a 3/4" socket wrench. See the assembly video under the tab above.
  • Starter kits include all you need to grow: lights, pans, trays, seeds, pump, growing media, etc. Just add water!