Even the most urbane condo-dweller among us carries around a little hunter-gatherer DNA. We still long to dig our hands into the dirt. But lack of space, time and know-how leave many stymied, and perhaps, in an act of desperation, planting virtual crops and driving virtual tractors.
Portugal-based Minigarden has designed a series of minimalist modular garden systems, from a small, tabletop model – for the absolute beginner – to a full wall, which allows even neophytes to enjoy some nature and super fresh produce.
Created in 2007 in Alentejo, Portugal by Antonio Rodrigues with inspiration from his father, Manuel Maria Rodrigues, the Minigarden was launched here in 2014, at Toronto's Canada Blooms. Eight Toronto garden centres have picked up the design, says North American distributor, Susan Austin, and there are plans to distribute them nationwide soon.
Constructed of UV-protected, BPA-free polypropylene moplen (a type of durable polymer plastic) the units – available in five colours: white, green, black, terracotta, and grey – are engineered to accommodate corners, small spaces and can be installed indoors or out.
Placed back-to-back, the vertical units can create living-wall room dividers. And for the black-thumb set, an optional drip irrigation kit can be installed; the basic table top model includes a reservoir.
And even if you have zero interest in eating what you grow, plenty of studies have shown that plants purify and oxygenate the air, and just looking at them lowers stress levels.
Basic: $33/two plant table top
Vertical: $90/nine plant set
Corner: $36/three plant set