Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Edible Landscaping: The Fields of Tomorrow

GreenWall vertical garden
Vertical gardens, an idea that has already taken off in America, can enhance bare walls, built structures and fences, and can increase the overall beauty and enhance interior design of homes and office buildings.

Environmentalists say that vertical and city gardens are an answer to the global water, energy and food crises. Vertical gardens use up to 90 percent less water than do traditional gardens, and growing food in place saves on the enormous shipping costs in terms of fuel and greenhouse gases. The walls have an insulating effect, buffering indoor temperatures by as much as 50 degrees F. Plus, plants clean and circulate stale indoor air.

GreenWall, Israeli company founded in 2009 in Ramot Hashovim, builds gravity-defying vertical gardens that climb walls in or outside the home or office.

Vertical gardens are not unique to GreenWall. The world market for such products has grown rapidly to $100 million. But while anyone can find online instructions for building vertical gardens using found materials like shipping pallets, GreenWall offers some innovations.

First, the company incubates the “look and see” wall at its farm before installing it at the customer’s location. The systems incorporate technical know-how from Israeli drip-irrigation pioneer Netafim; and GreenWall has developed its monitors, sensors and controls in cooperation with Israeli water-monitoring company Galcon.

GreenWall  has installed about a hundred living walls in Israel. Homeowners can also buy wall gardens of only a few square yards in size; the price starts at $800.The client doesn’t need to have a green thumb - if a section fails to thrive or if the owner wants to refresh or change the design, GreenWall will plant new components.

Company customer list includes such high-profile clients as Apple, Google, Intel, and Facebook.

Visitors to the World Expo 2015 in Milan (Expo Milano) next May will see a 1,200-square-foot GreenWall outside Israel’s pavilion growing wheat, rice and corn in keeping with the expo’s theme, “Feeding the world.” The pavilion will show off the inventions of several Israeli agrotech companies.

Source: Israel21c

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