14. May 2014–
Whether it is fresh food delivery services, cooking or grocery shopping apps – more and more food startups are entering the market. Created by the two brothers Guy and Erez Galonska, INFARM takes on a different angle. While its Indiegogo campaign focuses on making a mircogreen kit available for everyone, the company’s long-term goal is to provide urban communities access to fresh produce.
Meeting Guy, he showed me around the INFARM place in Kreuztal. Surrounded by wild variety of herbs, Guy let me taste Thai and Purple Basil – both types of basil I didn’t know before. That got us to one of the problems INFARM addresses.
What is wrong with the current way of producing, shopping for and handling food?
The agricultural system has a very limiting factor of transportation. Logistically, a farmer wants to grow produce that requires the same overall treatment and that is ready to harvest at the same time. That makes his life a lot easier - he just puts it all on the truck and starts over.
For us, the consumers, this means we only get a very limited supply of vegetable varieties.
Transportation also means that certain varieties are preferred. They are varieties that have been bred to be more resistant to bumps and that have a very consistent yield.
As consumers, we eventually get a poor quality produce that does us more harm than good. From this, INFARM was born. We believe every person has the right to fresh green produce. We are here to start the revolution.
Who came up with the idea of INFARM and why?
INFARM came from the need to have fresh green produce. We realized this is a big part of how we want to live. INFARM sort of evolved from this into what it is today through research, experiments and people's feedback.
How do you see the future of growing food?
We see it as a much more resilient, diverse and decentralized food production system. This is the same process that is happening in the energy market, computer market, internet and industry. We are the ones who are bringing it to the food industry.
Instead of one big farm supplying thousands of people, lots of small, smart and efficient farms supplying hundreds.
You’re currently running a campaign on Indiegogo for the Mircogarden. Can you tell us more about that?
The Microgarden is basically the first step of that philosophy. It encompass all of our ideas of learning, growing, health and decentralizing the food system - but in a very small and easy package. The crowdfunding platform goes hand in hand with our ideas, so it was a very natural decision. You can make a difference!
What is necessary for someone who wants to use INFARM in the future?
All you basically need is empty space. We can take care of the rest. A basic growing room is comprised of ventilation systems, irrigation, lighting and filtration.
On a smaller scale, just to grow at home, you can start by materials you buy in the Bauhaus.
We are currently working on an online version of INFARM that will be a platform to share information and experience on growing food. This is also a part of our Indiegogo campaign.
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What are your next steps?
We are currently focusing on building our indoor farm and developing a truly revolutionary growing system that would be much more efficient and a game changer in the indoor farming industry.
What would the perfect world look like to you?
A world of conscious, healthy and aspiring people.
What is your biggest pain right now and do you know how to solve it yet?
Our biggest pain is actually a good one, and it is how to grow as a business and organization efficiently. We are rapidly growing, which is a good thing, but holds dangers. We know how to solve that part, so it's under control.
What’s your advice for founders who are about to start now?
Go at it full force! Talk to as many people as possible, get a lot of feedback and start getting people involved, both in pay and as a helping hand. The other advice would be to make sure you have something with a real and valuable transformative force behind. That's maybe the hard part, but it’s a world that is both striving and needs a change.
INFARM has so far raised over €11,000 with its indiegogo campaign, which is over 75% of the €15,000 the team needs.