As a part of an in-office urban farming experiment, Microsoft is growing aeroponic and hydroponic produce. In an effort to explore the part information technology plays in how agricultural resources are consumed, the tech brand is using the project to better understand how to grow and produce food with more efficiency and less resources.
Run by Mark Freeman, Dining at Microsoft is looking at microgreens and lettuce in aeroponic towers. Hydroponic produce uses much less water compared to conventional farming methods -- in some cases up to 90% less. The team is using Urban Cultivators (automated commercial-scale cultivation machines) to house and grow the plants. A control screen automates the watering, ventilation and light cycles, yielding 16 trays of microgreens at the same time from seed to harvest in just over one week.