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Friday, June 3, 2016

Rent A Garden

As far as ideas go, this Japanese one is a good one.

For the millions of people who live in tiny, cramped apartment spaces in Tokyo, but would like to do their own gardening, now they can rent a garden in a hydroponics space.

I had no idea one could use hydroponics to grow vegetables, but whatever.

Back in 2014, building owner Kajima Tatemono Sogo Kanri opened up the hydroponic gardening zone Tanabatake Sukusuku, where customers can plant veggies (but apparently not flowers) under the blue-white indoor lighting system, and, when plants need pruning et al, workers will call the gardener/renter and tell him his plants are looking shabby.

Gardeners can rent a container/bed on a monthly basis, with rules indicating that a total of 21 plants of up to three different varieties can be cultivated in any one rented bed.

The Tanabatake Sukusuku offers the would-be gardener a wide variety of seeds at their center, or the renter can bring in their own.

The facility utilizes staff to monitor the temperature and humidity within the site, measure fertilizer concentrations and closely monitor the condition of the plants.

Staff will contact the gardener if they determine a plant may need thinning or transplanting, but should the unforeseeable occur—I’m sooooooo busy at work—they will do what is required, but note that it will cost you extra.

I have a large backyard here in Toronto, where my parents used to grow veggies: rhubarb, red peppers, green peppers, egg plant—so far nothing I actually like—cherry tomatoes, Roma or beefsteak tomatoes, corn (which we call maize… sorry, wrong type of Indian) and butternut squash, and zucchini.

I have a black thumb, so that vegetable patch is now growing weeds.

I guess people always want things they don’t have.

I wonder, however, if paying for a rental space in Tokyo, and gods forbid one having to have someone else do the farming for you... would that bean plant be cost-effective? 

Somewhere under the blue-white light,
Andrew Joseph
Image: Kazuki Wakasugi, The Japan News/Yomiuri

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