“Since 2014, Plantronics associates have enjoyed the ultimate in fresh produce from a hydroponic microfarm installed by Cityblooms. The automated mini greenhouses (a.k.a. “grow- bots”) are powered by solar energy, virtually eliminate the need for pesticides, and improve water efficiency by up to 90 percent compared to conventional methods.”
Cityblooms is pleased to be working with Soliculture to incorporate its wavelength selective photovoltaics (WSPV) technology into our cultivation units to fine-tune light for crops while simultaneously generating electricity! We plan to offer Soliculture solar panels as an option on all of our equipment.
“The new “lumo” panels stem from the research of UC Santa Cruz Physics Professors Sue Carter and Glenn Alers. They designed the red dye that gives the solar panel its unique ability to tweak the light escaping the panel. Once light strikes the panel, this luminescent dye absorbs green light, which plants don’t use well during photosynthesis, and lets red and blue light filter down onto the waiting lettuce, kale, and arugula. It then converts the green light into more red light for the plants to use. Meanwhile, the solar cells absorb all colors of light that strike them and convert them into electricity.” (Read More at Santa Cruz Tech Beat)
The 2015 Earth Day celebration at Plantronics was a special event for the Cityblooms team as it also marked the one year anniversary of the installation of our pilot project on the Plantronics campus. It has been an amazing year for the Cityblooms team as we have had an opportunity to put our micro-farm through its paces. There have been both successes and learning moments in our quest to grow the best food we can.
Over the past 12 months we have grown 16 different crop varieties including lettuces, micro greens, kale, tomatoes, basil, and bok-choy. Our farm’s performance improves with each passing month and the overwhelmingly positive response that we have received from the Plantronics community is the fuel we need to keep pushing forward.
Our concept has evolved quite a bit since we began building prototypes in 2011. The receipt of a 2015 Business Environmental award from Acterra is a sign that we are moving in the right direction, but in reality this journey has just begun. Now it is time for Cityblooms to expand its horizons to start farming for other institutions. So if you would like to have a Cityblooms Micro-Farm on your campus to grow amazing produce, give us a call!