MARKETS & INVESTING | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Grow vertical greenery in the city with Aerospring Gardens

 This gardening system is designed and manufactured in Toa Payoh.

Aerospring Gardens is the manufacturer of a patent-pending vertical aeroponic gardening system, designed for urban home gardeners who want to grow their own herbs, salads, leafy greens and vegetables in limited space. This garden employs water rather than soil to cultivate a diverse range of vegetables and greens, thus growing upwards instead of outwards, explains Nadine Keller, co-founder of Aerospring Gardens.

Designed and manufactured in Singapore (Toa Payoh), this vertical gardening system allows you to grow up to 36 different edible plants and vegetables in limited space, says Keller. "It self-waters and requires little maintenance, it’s easy to set up and every pole includes little plant seedlings so that there is a garden from day one," she says. The system includes everything one needs to start growing hydroponically, one just needs a balcony or outdoor space that enjoys a few hours of sunshine, and a power plug.

Aerospring Gardens was founded by couple Keller, 40, and Thorben Linneberg, 46, both having originally come from corporate backgrounds. Keller left a promising corporate career to join Linneberg in setting up Singapore’s first urban growstore.

"The business was born out of the desire to grow our own food at home and it started out purely as a hobby, there wasn’t any intention to start a business," says Keller. Gardening was a surprising stress buster for Keller, while Linneberg enjoyed inventing and building his own hydroponic system.

"As more and more of our friends and acquaintances saw and tasted what we were harvesting on weekends, they egged us on to develop the product further and turn it into a business. We believe our system allows anybody to grow a little of their own, easily right at home," says Keller.

She adds: "Our tagline – No soil, no mess, lots of success – has found a following amongst apartment dwelling urbanites, not keen to get their hands dirty but with lots of desire to grow their own herbs, leafy greens and veg. It behaves like any other garden though and it deserves the care and attention if you want it to grow food for you!"

Keller says that because they supply seedlings with every system, they have provided over 20,000 herb, vegetable and fruit seedlings to all of Aerospring Gardens' customers. "For the first 6 months, this was done in our living room and the grow lights we had to use for the nursery illuminated our apartment purple. We could spot our unit from afar," she shares. "Like from the next district."

Aerospring Gardens has commenced exports to selected countries and plans to launch an indoor system with lights in the next 12 months.

The future of food is at stake and conventional approaches to agriculture need to be addressed, says Keller. "We need to come up with clever solutions and community initiatives to address our own needs locally," she notes. "There is nothing fresher than homegrown and teaching someone how to grow their own is a gift we feel keeps on giving."

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