Agri-Cube Turns A Parking Spot Into A Vegetable Factory

Here’s the thing about cities: they’re awesome in many ways, but in other ways they suck. For instance, lots of people living close together usually means access to decent public transportation and smaller, more efficient living spaces. It’s also easier to walk or bike to instead of driving. However, urban density does have its drawbacks.

The worst thing about cities is that they usually lack open space, especially green space. Urban dwellers have become quite creative when it comes to cramming tiny gardens or flower beds into places that you might not expect. Rooftop gardens in particular are quite popular, but they too have their limits, especially if the building is old. That’s why Japan’s Daiwa House Industry developed a parking-space-sized vegetable factory that’s perfect for urban farmers.

Daiwa Vegetable Factory

Image via Daiwa

As Japan’s largest home builder, Daiwa is used to creating much larger structures, but this compact hydroponic vegetable factory proves they’ve got some expertise in smaller prefabricated designs as well. Called the Agri-Cube, this semi-portable greenhouse only needs a space the size of a single parking space to work.

As this review points out, the self-contained greenhouse comes with a water recycling system and adjustable fluorescent lighting (instead of sunlight) to nourish the plants. Under the right conditions, the cube can grow up to 10,000 heads of lettuce per year–all for approximately 45 cents a vegetable, when electricity costs are taken into account, according DigInfo.

Agri-Cube Prefab Greenhouse

Image via Daiwa

While it doesn’t take advantage of the free renewable energy provided by the sun, either for power or for growing, there are some major advantages to using the Agri-Cube for urban farming. First, it protects the plants from drought, bugs, and air pollution–all of which are becoming more of a problem in cities thanks to climate change. Second, at $70,000 it’s probably too pricey for the average homeowner, but it’s ideal for hotels, restaurants, and apartment complexes that might not have the ground space to dedicate for growing.

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog

    • Bil

      Can plants actually flourish under artificial light?

      • Thomas Gregoire

        Yes they can :D

    • http://twitter.com/GrowCommunityBI Grow Community

      Wow, nice design and great idea! Saves tons of space, too :)