“Can food be a preventive medicine?”
About a year ago the innovative minds at the WRENCH R&D Lab started pondering on the problem of how to make a small home garden painless, efficient,and stress-free, while at the same time dealing with the never-ending pests that attack mercilessly in Kerala’s humid climate.
Why? Because they were trying to create a self-contained kit that had everything a novice user needs to start growing a few simple home plants for his own consumption. After a full year of experimenting and testing and multiple iterations and learnings, the WRENCH Smart Kitchen Garden Kit was born, which includes the WRENCH automated ‘fertigation’ system that takes the hassle out of both irrigation and fertilisation by delivering the exactly right amounts of water and fertiliser at exactly the right intervals in exactly the right sequence, throughout the growth cycle.
Or as I like to call it “Health in a box”. All without any harmful chemicals or pesticides!
“Eat your food like your medicine or you will eat your medicine like your food”.
The Smart Kitchen Garden Kit is the brainchild of WRENCH’s GYOF initiative which was started as a labour of love. My family and I had been struggling to find fresh vegetables and greens locally, and as we investigated we made disturbing discoveries about the complete lack of access to fresh produce and the apathy of people about the issue – an apathy that permeates all levels of society despite horrifying statistics about rising rates of cancer in children due to continued ingestion of pesticides.
After discussing with doctors and agricultural experts about the impact of nutrition on health, and how many lifestyle diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes can be prevented and even reversed with proper nutrition, we started experimenting with growing vegetables in our own homes.
Our initial homely experiment succeeded beyond our wildest expectations, and we saw more and more families expressing interest but they were hesitant about it also, as they thought it entailed lot of time and effort and had no knowledge or confidence about the various processes involved. So, we realised: if we want more people to try growing their own food we had to first allay their fears (will it be too complex? Will it take up too much time? What about pest control? etc.). That’s when we decided to put our idea in a box that anyone could set up and use with just a little help, almost like a plug and play software – just install it, configure it, do basic training and that’s it – you’re ready to start using and enjoying!
The WRENCH Smart Kitchen Garden kit consists of an easy-to-set-up polyhouse which can be installed in any space of 20 square metres and allows for vertical planting for optimum space utilization. It also includes soil-less growing media, healthy seedlings, and a state-of-the-art automated fertigation system developed by the WRENCH R&D team.
WRENCH Smart Garden Kit components:
- Polycarbonate roof
- 40micron net cover.
- Multi-tier compositing unit – 2 Nos
- Grow bags for vegetables
- Micro green racks with growing media.
- Treated Coir Pith growing media
- Trough for small plants.
- Fertilizer tanks.
- Drip irrigation system with timer control
- Plastic nets for creepers.
- 200 Ltrs Water Tank with pump.
We also set up a GYOF team that offers guidance to people using the Smart Kitchen Garden on all related topics like integrated nutrient management, integrated pest management, training to grow the seedlings, guidance on harvesting methods and organic waste management, as well as web-based online support.
Take control – your health is in your hands!
As urban-dwellers, the concept of growing edible plants is daunting so we would rather just walk down to the supermarket and buy them, and we think this is cheaper and easier, but the truth is that in the long run we not only ruin our health, but we end up spending fortunes on doctors and medicines, and it all comes from a lack of awareness about both the problem and the solution.
My earnest hope is that the WRENCH Smart Kitchen Garden makes people see that growing their own food need not be complicated or messy or time-consuming, and they will be encouraged to try it for themselves.