Green Vegetables

OUR SOLUTION

SuaFazenda brings planting back to eating by making the growing process more accessible to urban residents. This is achieved with the use of our urban farming growing system that consists of two main parts. The first of which is a growing unit that provides the conditions necessary for plant growth for leafy greens. This unit decentralises the growing process of Fazenda Cubo and brings growing closer to consumers.

The second part of our system is a modular home growing unit that allows customers to bring home mature to maintain its freshness while they begin to eat it. Alternatively, these units can be used for premature lettuce to be brought home and grown through to maturation for customers more interested in taking an active role in the growth of their food.

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SuaFazenda Machine

Automated growing machine which grows leafy greens with half the resources of traditional farming

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Home growing unit

A modular hydroponic unit to continue the growing of leafy greens at home

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Data

Inter-party data processes further connecting the customer to the producer

 

Key Design Elements

Automated growing environment - Creating a closed system that encases the leafy greens allows for us to control the environment. Through the use of remote sensors, we ensure that this environment always maintains plant-friendly conditions. As a plant is removed from the machine, the dynamic plant holders progress down the gulley to fill gap created. 

Biophilic design - This design philosophy emphasises the benefit emulating the natural world in product design. Biophilic design allows our customers to feel closer to nature.

Seedling to Maturation Growth - The growing unit houses leafy greens at the seedling stage and provides the conditions and resources necessary for these plants to grow to maturation. This allows customers to not only watch the growth of their leafy greens but also take home produce at different stages of its growth in the case that they would prefer to continue growing it themselves at home.

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Grow lights simulate daylight for the accelerated growth of the leafy greens. These LEDs deliver the precise spectrum of light plants require, across their growth process of 21 days

This water tank houses a pump to supply the plants with nutrient solution. It is accessible to the SuaFazenda delivery driver in order to maintain the nutrient solution.

Hydroponics is a method of farming which uses water and a nutrient solution as a medium to grow plants. Hydroponics optimises the food growing process by both eliminating the use of pesticides and dramatically reducing water-usage. NFT hydroponics enables SuaFazenda to produce food sustainably and efficiently.

This optional travel pack is made of compostable material and is used to protect the leafy green in transportation from the growing unit to the customer’s home.

Biophilic design is bringing the outside inside. Biophilic design has been found to support cognitive function, physical health, and psychological well-being. Through the use of natural materials such as bamboo and wood, a nature inspired ecosystem is created inside the growing unit, allowing users to feel more connected to nature and their food.

The waterfall feature takes advantage of the NFT system deployed by SuaFazenda by allowing the running water to fall for it to create an aural sensation for those close-by. This is done to create a calming and serene atmosphere wherever the SuaFazenda grow unit is located.

Prototyping

To test the viability of growing plants in a contained environment, a fridge was stripped and used as an insulated container in which some lettuce was grown hydroponically.

4 full spectrum grow lights were fitted to the roof of the fridge.

 

A DHT11 and photoresistor was fitted to the inside of the fried and a Raspberry Pi running a bespoke python script measured the internal temperature, humidity and light levels.

 

After a CAD model of the final concept was created, the design was distilled down to the basic components for the physical prototype.

 

The contained growing unit was not included as the fridge had already confirmed that the internal environment could be monitored, and plants grown.

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Green Vegetables

SUAFAZENDA MACHINE

This is the unit in which the leafy greens are grown. The growing unit is a closed space where all the parameters important to the healthy and regular growth of leafy greens will be electronically controlled. Using remote sensors and switches, the temperature, air flow, nutrient flow and light that the leafy greens are subjected to can be controlled by suafazenda.

 

This unit is fitted with transparent screens to ensure that any passer-by can observe the growth of the produce within. Employing both biophilic and empathetic design philosophies, it is hoped that this unit will not only produce healthy foods but contribute to the wellbeing of customers and add a natural feeling to its surroundings.

 
Green Vegetables

HOME GROWING UNIT

This is a modular unit that facilitates late-seedling to late-maturation stage plant growth of the leafy greens grown in the growing unit. These units, provided by SuaFazenda, provides the basic conditions necessary for customers to take our leafy greens home and keep them growing while they slowly begin to use it while it is as fresh as can be.

These units keep roots in the dark and the leaves in the light with the help of a light unit. A SuaFazenda provided nutrient-solution will keep plants well-fed while at home!

Features

Modular: Can join with multiple modular home units to house multiple plants and share light
 

Lighting unit: The home unit features an LED light that fosters plant growth
 

Reusable: The home units are reusable which reduces their carbon impact on a per-use basis

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Prototyping

With the intention of seeing how people felt when interacting with a growing unit in their home, modular units were prototyped and distributed to homes around São Paulo. These prototypes were made using a combination of emptied jars of ice cream, sponge, homemade nutrient solution, aluminum foil and lettuce seedlings taken from Fazenda Cubo.

Since it was shown to be able to grow high quality leafy greens and users reacted positively towards the growing experience, the prototype was improved upon by adding full-spectrum LEDs and an air pump. This accelerated the growth of the lettuce, while ensuring consistency in production quality. 

Using the knowledge gained from prototyping, the final prototype was 3D printed, which includes an airpump, LEDs and a water infill feature. The design ensures consistent growth efficiency, while maintaining a pleasant aesthetic quality similar to a houseplant.

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Green Vegetables

DATA

The sales and operation data of the growing unit are shown to the owner, increasing their awareness of the production process. In turn having this data at hand, we can provide a customer application that improves the experience customer's have with the SuaFazenda growing unit.

 

Customer App

Customers interact with the SuaFazenda system through the app only. They create an account and from the app can scan a QR code on the machine which allows them to buy their plants. Once bought the machine allows the customer to take their plants.

Features

  • Customers to locate machines

  • Customers can locate plants around the city

  • Customers can order plants to there favourite machine

  • Cutomers can order the home growing unit to the Fazenda Cubo shop or directly to their door

  • Customers can gain loyalty points by buying plants

Management
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Fazenda Cubo have constant access to the data captured by our growing units. This data will be monitored by Fazenda Cubo to ensure that the conditions within these units stay within the regions that foster the growth of nutritious leafy greens.

This is facilitated by the remote controlling of growing unit components by Fazenda Cubo.

Features

  • Alerts producers phone if sensors see large change in atmosphere, catching errors early

  • Monitors and controls the atmosphere continuously

  • Provides historic data to the producer to aid future plant growth and continue improving the atmosphere for various plants

Green Vegetables

DATA PROCESS DIAGRAM

The conditions of the growth environment are monitored and recorded by sensors which are sent to the cloud by which Paulo can monitor and control in real-time through an interactive dashboard. Parallel to this, consumers can use SuaFazenda's mobile application to scan the identifying QR code present on each growing unit. This allows customers to view the types of leafy greens that are in stock and also place their orders. Additionally, it is possible to obtain detailed info on the types of plants available, buy in-home growing units, and also search for desired plants by accessing our up-to-date virtual inventory using the SuaFazenda application.

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Green Vegetables

BUSINESS MODEL

SuaFazenda sells locally-grown leafy greens at a competitive price. This is done by working with apartment managers to keep the price of SuaFazenda's produce comparable to high-quality lettuce sold in shops. By imposing a small fee to apartment residents as part of their regular maintenance costs, the biophilic units are maintained and the growing costs subsidized. These savings are passed onto our customers who avail of both the tangible and intangible benefits of SuaFazenda's system solution. The combination of employing a maintenance fee and charging customers per lettuce ensures that all relevant stakeholders are satisfied with what they receive while SuaFazenda remains competitive.

 
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Fazenda Cubo provides leafy greens to SuaFazenda

SuaFazenda Machine is located in a condominium

The customer can buy leafy greens in the SuaFazenda Machine