This Bookcase-Sized Farm Is a Chef Favorite—Here's Why You Should Buy It for Your Home

Courtesy FarmShelf

You don't need any gardening skills, or even a garden, to grow an endless supply of leafy greens at home. 

Say so long to trips to the grocery store. Fresh, chef-worthy organic produce could be growing from your kitchen instead. 

"If you can operate an iPhone and an espresso machine, then you can operate Farmshelf Home," Andrew Shearer tells Departures. The Farmshelf founder and CEO launched a game-changing, fully automated indoor farm in 2016 for restaurants and cafe's, helping top chefs grow incredibly fresh produce at the touch of a button.

Related: The Best Chef-Worthy Cookware Brands to Shop Right Now

Courtesy Farmshelf 

Living by the old adage "give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime," Shearer launched Farmshelf with hopes to fix our "broken food system" where roughly 50 percent of all produce in the United States ends up in landfill. Fast forward four years, the plug-and-play smart farm has a dedicated list of fans including José Andrés and Marcus Samuelsson who say the produce quality is like nothing they can buy in stores. And now the Brooklyn-based brand is launching a long-anticipated bookshelf-sized home version of the model. 

Farmshelf Home will allow a family of up to six grow as much or as little produce as they need without wasting a single leaf, and without any botanist skills needed. With a $35 monthly subscription, users can get unlimited seedpods and nutrients sent to their door so they can grow everything from romaine, to basil, to arugula, to cherry tomatoes, or even edible flowers, chamomile, and za'atar. Grower's choice. 

Courtesy Farmshelf 

So, how does it work? You simply plug the machine in, connect it to WiFi, and add water (they tell you when and how much). Then insert your seed pods and harvest when the crops are mature. Ta-da. Farmshelf takes care of the rest through advanced monitoring of things like the pH level, lighting, nutrients, and temperature, which is all taken care of through the app and built-in sensors.   

While away from home, users can keep an eye on their plants through the mobile app. It features live camera views and sends alerts for needs such as a water refill.

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It's truly the first of its kind. Will it become a staple in kitchens everywhere? Hopefully. You can pre-order Farmshelf Home right now for $4,950 with delivery across the U.S. starting spring 2021.