Hydroponic farming company Edible Garden is teaming up with the New Jersey Institute of Technology, the United States Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency to study the use of nanobubble technology in a controlled environment agriculture (CEA) environment.
In a Feb. 9 press release, the Belvidere-based company said the EPA-funded research partnership will look at how nanobubbles, which are tiny bubbles of gas believed to improve plant growth and crop yields in soil-based and hydroponic systems, impact food safety of fresh produce and processing procedures.
Edible Garden did not say how long the partnership will last.
Edible Garden Chief Executive Officer Jim Kras said, “The research will aim to validate the potential benefits of nanobubbles for indoor agriculture and explore their impact on plant health, water usage, nutrient utilization, and energy efficiency. We believe that this research is well-aligned with our Zero-Waste Inspired philosophy. Nanobubble technology has the potential to revolutionize plant nutrition, providing more nutritious plants with longer shelf lives, which could greatly benefit Edible Garden’s products.”
Founded in 2015, Edible Garden is known for its line of sustainably grown leafy greens. The company’s lettuce, organic herbs, hydro basil, salad kits and protein powders are available at more than 4,000 stores, including ShopRite, Weis Markets, Meijer and King Kullen.
Wen Zhang, an NJIT professor and a state-licensed professional engineer in environmental engineering commented, “Edible Garden’s partnership in this research project is greatly appreciated. Their support, including providing space at their Belvidere, New Jersey, greenhouse facility, to conduct the field verification research, will be instrumental in furthering the commercialization of nanobubble technology and the development of smart and precision agriculture.”
Zhang added, “We look forward to working with them to gain a deeper understanding of the effects of nanobubble technology on plant growth.”
Patricia Millner, a USDA research microbiologist, said, “The significance of this research cannot be overstated as it will shed light on the impact of nanobubble technology on plant growth. The results of the study are expected to provide concrete proof of the technology’s practical applications. Edible Garden’s involvement in the partnership is ideal, as their commitment to eco-friendly agriculture aligns well with the USDA’s goals.”