Cultivating Environmental Responsibility and Healthy Eating Habits
Imagine… You’re preparing dinner. You reach toward the end of the counter to pick some ripe, juicy cherry tomatoes. Then you tear off a few basil leaves from the fragrant plant growing nearby. A summer scenario? Not at all! These flavours that taste of pure sunlight can be grown at home year-round thanks to HerbiaEra.
Using Science to Facilitate Home Growing
HerbiaEra was born of an end-of-studies project carried out by two young people who are passionate about agriculture and fresh produce. Engineering graduates in electromechanical systems, Alexandre Boucher-Doddridge and Anthony Bisson were looking for a way to offer people a certain food independence, whether they live in a condo or a house in the country.
“At-home micro-production lets us be less dependent on the supply system,” explains Alexandre. “It also reduces waste. The produce that we buy in grocery stores travels a long way between production and our plates, which shortens the duration that we can keep it at home. In addition, the produce in grocery stores is often packaged in plastic. HerbiaEra lets you grow a few things at home with ease, so you can be independent and enjoy fresh food.”
The HerbiaEra CS1 was launched on May 28, 2020, on the Quebec crowdfunding platform “La Ruche.” They plan to start an international campaign in the future the details of which will be communicated on HerbiaEra’s Facebook pagein the next months.
This innovative planter is an all-inclusive formula for home growing! It contains a growing medium in which organic, non-GMO seeds are pre-planted. By harnessing the phenomenon of capillary action, the growing medium allows for the self-regulation of water, nutrients, and oxygen. There is therefore no longer any need to worry about under- or over-watering. When the water tank is empty, your planter will let you know! After about 6 months, the plant will have completed its growing cycle. Since the medium is 100% natural and biodegradable, you can dispose of it in the compost and start a new plant.
The First in a Series of Locally Developed Products
“Our products are designed and manufactured locally,” points out Alexandre. “For us, it goes without saying that our products should leave the smallest possible ecological footprint in their design and manufacture.”
The young company still has many ideas up its sleeve to promote food security. In addition to offering its technologies to the general public and corporations, they will be offered in schools to raise awareness of the importance of environmentally responsible food consumption from an early age.
The two entrepreneurs are looking at connecting planters together to further simplify the growing of mini-vegetables and aromatic herbs at home. And a home greenhouse project designed specifically for the Canadian climate is also in development.
Who said getting fresh produce year-round right at home in Canada was impossible?
Article written by Anthony Bisson