• 07.02.12

A Farm Designed For Spaceships, Now In Your Kitchen

Taking care of plants can be difficult, as anyone who has left a trail of dead herbs and flowers behind can attest. This device helps take some of the guesswork out of home growing.

How does your garden grow? If you’re ever on a space voyage, it will probably grow in a slowly turning rotary device that ensures plants equal access to light, water, and nutrients. This rotary arrangement–a slim tire-shaped container that holds plants while slowly rotating around a central hub with an LED light–guarantees optimal use of space and energy. It’s just not much to look at on your countertop.


A design firm in Milan, DesignLibero, has given the concept (reportedly inspired by a NASA prototype) a redesign with its Green Wheel, a small table-sized version. The Wheel is intended to grow fresh greens all year round in urban homes. A small engine sends plants on an infinite circular orbit around a light source at the center, and the plants take root in coconut husk fiber. A dousing of water keeps the plants alive each time it passes the reservoir in the base.

If that’s not enough for you, DesignLibero has created another must-have for the ecological kitchen: the Fluidity, “a dish drying rack that lets you grow your fresh herbs and any small plant you want.”

About the author

Michael is a science journalist and co-founder of Publet: a platform to build digital publications that work on every device with analytics that drive the bottom line. He writes for FastCompany, The Economist, Foreign Policy and others on science, economics, and the environment.