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Science Meets Salad

Grow wheatgrass, lettuce, and basil with AquaFarm the countertop ecosystem!


Chris Roche/Back To The Roots

There are many multitasking gadgets on the market. But one that doubles as a garden, a pet, and an educational tool for kids?

Developed by Nikhil Arora and Alejandro Velez of Oakland’s Back to the Roots (the same guys behind the boxed Mushroom Kits), AquaFarm is a countertop ecosystem. The fish in the three-gallon tank discard waste that fertilizes the plants above, which in turn cleanse the water for the fish.

“Aquaponics is an ancient farming technique the Aztecs and Mayans used thousands of years ago, and we’ve brought it back and into the home,” says Arora.

The $59.99 kit includes everything you need to start gardening—just add water and a fish. It’s best for growing wheatgrass, lettuce, and basil, and the modern design looks slick in the home.

“In classroom demos, the kids go crazy,” says Arora about AquaFarm’s potential as a teaching tool. Peers on the conference circuit have had a more humorous response: “We used to be ‘the mushroom guys.’ Now, we’re the ‘fish poop guys.’ ”

For retail locations and information, visit backtotheroots.com.


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