Here’s a First Look at Ikea’s Utopian Urban Gardening Project

Sourced from Fast Company

The title of Ikea and the designer Tom Dixon’s urban farming experiment, which has opened at the Chelsea Flower Show in London, is Gardening Will Save the World. The show is a tantalizing look at how to do that–a future where people in cities can grow their own food in kitchens and on rooftops with minimal energy consumption and near-zero carbon footprint.

While the Swedish company already has some home “cultivation units” in its catalog, those hydroponic trays are too tiny and too limited in scope to provide continuous nourishment for individuals or families. Sure, they’re fine for growing some lettuces and herbs, but you’ll run out of them fast and you will be out of luck when it comes to larger produce like cucumbers or cauliflower. Thankfully, Ikea doesn’t want to stop there.

The retail giant now seems focused on taking urban farming to the next level. Starting with itself, in fact: Ikea is using urban farming techniques on its own stores. Back in March, the Swedish company announced it was growing lettuce in shipping containers right out of its stores in in Malmö and Helsingborg, Sweden, with the intention of using this “hyper-local” produce in the store’s restaurants.

At the Chelsea Flower Show, Ikea–working with Dixon–further delves into the concept of hyper-local farmed food: veggies that you grow right in your house or at your doorstep as a way to improve your own life and reduce the emissions that come with industrial farming. It features two gardening areas: a raised modular landscape with edible and medicinal plants and an enclosed garden fed by a hydroponic systems and controllable lighting. The two levels host over 4,000 plants.

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