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Grow 'Just-in-Time'

What if, in your own backyard, you had all the food you need, when you need it? It's possible...

Photo of Gavin Forrest
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Our simple and affordable DIY hydroponic greenhouse enables you to customize food production to fit you and your family. No unwanted food. No loss from transportation...unless you drop it as you walk from the backyard to the kitchen ;)

This local solution can be scaled to backyards across the world through easy to follow and open sourced instructions.

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

We started with IDEO's Empathy and Ideation exercises. Now, we're prototyping our hydroponics greenhouse in Nairobi, Kenya to assess feasibility and iterate with our current customers. The prototype consists of: 1) Greenhouse - made from locally available and affordable materials 2) Plants - mix of local staples: kale, tomatoes, etc. and more novel characters: quinoa, chia, etc. 3) Hydroponic processes - 'just-in-time' system to provide the right amount of food at the right time

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

Guidance on gathering customer data and iterating with the IDEO human centered design process. We'd also love others in the OpenIDEO community to test this idea in their own country and together really capture the "think locally, scale globally".

Tell us about your work experience:

We are entrepreneurs in the sustainable development space. Previously, we worked in investment management, agriculture, and business operations.

This idea emerged from

  • A group brainstorm
  • An OpenIDEO Outpost or Chapter

How far along is your idea?

  • It was in the works before this challenge – it’s existed for 2-6 months


Join the conversation:

Photo of Gertrude

Hi do you all have a video of how this works? And what materials will be used for the process and is it easy to do? This is a good idea.

Photo of wekesa zab

Hey @Gavin  .. this in an interesting approach to food waste.. we have the networking part too.  just curious it it happens that you are producing surplus then you might need to activate that side of the Idea.. like a network community members that share farm fresh produce.. 

Photo of Gavin Forrest

Yo, @wekesa zab  ! We're actually pretty intentional about keeping surplus low to limit waste. Once the family is familiar with the unit, and has a sense of their base consumption needs, they could then chose to produce more for their neighbors or communities.