When you hear two guys brag about their indoor growing system, thoughts may turn to a certain profitable (and smokable) type of harvest. Urban gardeners Guy and Erez Galonska are certainly quick to brag about their greens. But these two Berlin-based indoor farming evangelists have their sights set on something much bigger—changing the way city dwellers grow and consume food.
"We think sunlight is the best light for plants, and that’s not necessarily true," says Guy Galonska. "They can survive in all kinds of situations. LED lighting works; the good taste is a pretty good indicator."
In their industrial loft in the Kreuzberg neighborhood, the brothers have built a cottage industry around indoor farming. Their latest project, a reusable, plastic, origami-inspired microgreen growing kit designed by Stockholm creative collective Tomorrow Machine, is currently raising money on Indiegogo. It’s part of a healthy rotation of projects—a neighborhood farm, workshops and lectures on vertical and hydroponic farming and a farm-to-table supper club—that seek to seed a wider movement towards indoor, organic farming.
While they didn’t go back to the land, exactly, these two city gardeners definitely have proof of concept for their ideas. Last winter, they built a growing system in a house in Neukölln and raised lettuce and herbs all winter. After that experiment, they turned an old Airstream trailer into an urban garden. Sharing their research and experience is ingrained in their business and campaign; one of the Indiegogo goals is to start a website to share information and resources between gardeners, and amidst the rewards for supported is the opportunity to have the brothers build a custom vertical farm. According to Galonska, recent advances in LED technology make it a great time to get involved and invested in indoor farming. It makes their vision of building growing all their own produce a lot more sustainable.
During the course of his career writing about music and design, Patrick Sisson has made Stefan Sagmeister late for a date and was scolded by Gil Scott-Heron for asking too many questions. His work has appeared in Pitchfork, Nothing Major, Wax Poetics, Stop Smiling and Chicago Magazine.