Picture yourself in an industrial warehouse in the center of Berlin: but, instead of being there to rave to techno music or view alternative artwork, you are there to build a farm. That’s what the folks at InFarm have accomplished. These “urban farmers” wanted to overcome the city environment and be able to grow fresh, edible produce right in their own homes. Through their research at the inner-city farm and their partnership with Swedish design studio, Tomorrow Machine, they’ve discovered the power of microgreens, and a means for anyone to grow them in his or her own home: the MicroGarden. This device provides you with your own mini slice of nature that allows you to grow your own edible and nutritious sprouts whether you live in a 30-story apartment building or have our own backyard.

Why is the MicroGarden so innovative? The shell’s foldable design is inspired by origami. It uses a transparent seaweed based gel called agar agar to grow microgreens with its miniature greenhouse functionality. The microgreens’ roots absorb moisture from the gel, allowing the device to remain self contained without requiring watering. Without needing water or too much sun, the design allows you to literally grow these greens anywhere.

What are these interesting greens we speak of? Microgreens are the baby stages of different vegetables, such as leeks, carrots, rucola or purple basil, that actually provide up to 40% more nutritional value than their adult plants. They have the power to transform any meal into a healthier, more organic experience. The MicroGarden is the first step in achieving a means for people to be able to grow their own produce in their own home, regardless of where they live. These greens are a small start, but with further research and funding, the future of urban farming could be much less micro.

Your MicroGarden kit comes with a foldable greenhouse, organic seeds and agar-agar powder. After folding the container to its proper structure, leave it in the dark for three days and the seeds will begin to sprout. With another seven days in the light, the microgreens will be fully grown and ready to consume. Serve the greens with your favorite dish to spruce it up for a dinner party, or offer them straight from their gel base on your dining room table. Your guests will surely have lots of questions about the whole process, and now you know the full story — from Berlin all the way to your kitchen!

Is the MicroGarden something you think will benefit your cooking experience? Is it something you’ll want to try or do you think it’s a lot of excitement for not that much immediate outcome?