The Veggie Shute

By: Christelle Muhimpundu, Chenise Hinds, Chike Maduabuchi, Marie Nguyen

Any urban dweller knows access to fresh fruits and vegetables throughout all seasons is a difficult feat to overcome. We often rely on other countries/ regions as our sources for fresh produce which is not the optimal solution. Exogenous factors such as climate change and political risk have major impact on price and availability of produce. Taking control of how we source and manage our produce is vital in understanding challenges we face.

We are aiming to tackle this issue through a responsible practice and better use of our resources via integrating compost, grey water recycling and renewable energy into one ecosystem.

With the Veggie shute we are hoping to address three issues: The first issue we are planning to address is the issue of waste within every apartment building and the possibility of recycling the waste to compost. Food waste will become soil to generate the growth of more food. The second issue we hope to address is the issue of grey-water not being re-used but simply wasted and thrown away. Reusing grey water will be useful for the noble task of water conservation. Right now, it seems as though the earth has unlimited water supply but there will come a time when the shortage becomes obvious. The third issue we want to address is access to fresh organic vegetables for everyone not just the affluent. With the Veggie shute every resident has access to the vegetable supply growing on the roof of the apartment. 

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Source: http://www.affluentmagazine.com/articles/article/597

The solution we propose is to tackle the issues mentioned above by using technologies being developed for the kitchen of the future and combined them within one cohesive ecosystem. 

The technology behind the veggie chute consist of several things that are all connect by computer system. The system will evolve from the existing trend of growing produce in recycled containers. The greenhouse containers will be placed on the roof top of the apartment building and will be connected to each apartment. The containers will be equipped with a technology that monitors the growth of the vegetables as well as the climate to help grow the vegetables. That technology will also be connected to each apartment to relate the information on what vegetables are ready to be harvest.

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Illustration of available produce all year round through a shute

 We suggest that the greenhouse be also connect physically to each apartment, so that as a person wants to get new vegetables, all they have to do is use their computer which is connected to the one in the greenhouse and gets it through the veggie chute. The idea is to have a robot similar to the one developed by Moley for the World’s first robotic kitchen, be installed in the greenhouse and is in charge of harvesting the veggies and another within the apartment to collect and cook the food.

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Furthermore, the food waist be collected and through Zera food recycler which transforms it into homemade fertilizer. We also suggest that there be a design that collect the compost and brings it up to the greenhouse container from every apartment without the need for people to go up. This can be used as fertilizer for the vegetables being grown in the greenhouse.

 

Last but not least, grey water can be recycled to be used for part of the greenhouse that is hydroponic garden, which will allow for the tenants to still harvest vegetables anytime of the year.

Sources:

  1. http://www.affluentmagazine.com/articles/article/597
  2. https://www.indoorfarmsamerica.com/indoor-ag-101.html
  3. http://www.growtrucks.com/container-farms-1.html

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