An algae and bacteria-based gardening prototype called H.O.R.T.U.S. (Hydro organisms responsive to urban stimuli), experiments with the idea of what has been called cyber-gardening. Taking a very modern approach to gardening, different forms of algae and bacteria are hung in plastic bags hung from the ceiling (called photobioreactors), to produce oxygen and even to be used as renewable energy source. The amount of energy that can be derived from these bags has not been determined, but there is also an adaptation for cyber-gardeners to connect to individual bags and “tweet” about the progress of their growth. There is also a tube for visitors to exhale carbon dioxide into the bags for the algae, which they depend on for photosynthesis. The purpose of cyber-gardening was to encourage a “self-regulating environment,” and to test for potential large-scale usage in urban areas.
It is amazing to see how innovation has given green activities like gardening a more modern and technology-based twist, especially a practical way like energy harvesting. Although I'm a fan of classic soil-and-seed planting, it’s great to hear that gardening may become appealing to a wider spectrum, so that even those who may not have the space available (perhaps living in an urban community) will have the opportunity to get involved. In a technologically-oriented society, seeing technology work with the environment may help some people realize human’s huge part in the ecosystem, and help inspire and encourage a good attitude for making more environmentally-conscious decisions.
ecoLogicStudio. (n.d.). Garden. H.O.R.T.U.S.. Retrieved February 25, 2013, from
Mok, K. (2012, February 1). Tweetable, Interactive Algae Farm is Energy-Generating
"Cyber-Garden". TreeHugger. Retrieved February 24, 2013, from http://www.treehugger.com/sustainable-product-design/hortus-interactive-algae-energy-mill-ecologicstudio.html