Here’s a new project to join the ranks of your Shiitake log, sourdough starter, and alfalfa sprout operation: an indoor hydroponics kit.
The practice of hydroponics — a fancy term for growing plants in water and nutrients instead of soil — dates back centuries, according to Fast Company. Now, IKEA is jumping on the bandwagon in the hopes of starting an in-the-home hydroponics revolution. Its indoor gardening kit is scheduled for release in April.
IKEA’s ad above shows the process of starting a soilless garden operation on your kitchen table, from seed to majestic lettuce leaf. The time-lapse video, set to a big band tune, offers a peek into just how much labor it takes to grow a salad. The starring actress provides her plants with TLC: watering them, turning on grow lights, and even playing the recorder to encourage the little sprouts to grow.
Sure, the grow lights use more energy to produce salad greens than the sun’s free, ever-giving rays. But with winter weather or lack of space soiling many of our garden plans, countertop hydroponics — and soil-based projects like growing herbs on your windowsill — provide us with ways to grow our own food no matter where we live. (IKEA’s Swedish homeland, for one, relies on imported food due to its short growing season.)
After all, there might be only one thing better than farm-to-table: table-to-table.