There Is Literally a Farm Inside of This German Grocery Store
A vertical garden has been built in a Berlin grocery store in order to provide shoppers with the freshest possible herbs and greens 365 days a year.
Odds are, if you live in an urban city center, your local health food store or even supermarket has fresh local produce proudly on display in the fruit and vegetable aisle. What's less likely, though, is that "local" refers to a radius of 100 feet, as opposed to the usual 100 miles.
But that is now the case in one Berlin supermarket, where a vertical garden has been implemented to provide shoppers with the freshest possible herbs and greens. The location in question, part of Germany's Metro chain, is now offering shoppers produce grown from inside the store 365 days a year.
The vertical garden is also a local product, having been build by Berlin-based Infarm, a tech startup that specializes in building indoor vertical farms for hotels, restaurants, and retail clients like Metro grocery stores.
Infarm, who describe themselves as a team of "plant scientists, robotics specialists, industrial designers, IT wizards, architects, futurists, and chefs [...] all sharing a passion to help shaping the future of cities," is headed by CEO Erez Galonska, who got the idea for his business after a particularly fruitful YouTube tutorial search.
"One night I Googled: 'can I farm without soil?' and the answer I got was: 'hydroponics,'" he told Mashable in a recent interview. Armed with this YouTube knowledge, Galonska eventually built his hydroponic pipe system in his apartment.
"It was February in Berlin, cold and snowing outside, and we had fresh vegetables inside," he said, likening his produce to a "jungle farm full of delicious greens."
Needless to say, Whole Foods has been experimenting with its own on-site indoor farming techniques in Brooklyn, but this level of local is far from being widespread.
Of course, there is one way of growing food that is even more local than these methods, and that's inside your own body cavities—though that's one radius that doesn't always guarantee freshness.