At some point, even the most committed foodies reach their fine dining plateau or get sick of pinning Food Porn onto their Pinterest boards—eventually, they want more. While some take to the kitchen to dream up their own concoctions, others with farm-to-table ambitions want to take it one step further and grow their own ingredients. But even the most experienced chef can be intimidated by the prospect of becoming a gardening novice. Good news — the lover of all grub can ease into the process and quickly transform from beginner to green-thumbed god. The solution? The Water Garden.
Back to the Roots co-founders Nikhil Arora and Alejandro Velez initially stumbled upon the idea of aquaponics while doing a farm visit in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Awestruck by the magic of aquaponic farming (2x faster growth with 90% less water? Yes please!) the guys set out to find a way to share this experience with kids and families. After a year-long design process, the Water Garden launched on Kickstarter in November 2012 with a conservative goal of $100,000. To their surprise, there was enough interest around the self-cleaning, food-growing fish tank that they raised $248,000 in just 30 days!
Original Water Garden Video on Kickstarter (formerly the AquaFarm):
Today, there are over 100,000 Water Gardens in homes and classrooms nationwide growing their own organic food via aquaponics. The Water Garden continues to delight farmers of all ages, bringing a mini-ecosystem into the comfort of your own home and yielding organic sprouts and herbs all year long. People love it because it requires 1) no yard or outdoor space at all, 2) no water changes, and 3) comes with everything you need to get started . The only prerequisite is a little bit of light and, of course, a new pet fish (don’t worry – it comes with a coupon for one from Petco!).
This fish-powered garden comes fully loaded, including: 3-gallon fish tank, the aquarium gravel, organic herb seeds, grow stones, natural fertilizer, a silent submersible water pump, fish food, and a coupon for your betta fish. Put your fish in the tank, plant your seeds, and in 2-3 days you’ll have your first sprouts and your ecosystem will be growing away in happy harmony.