The MyFood Family Smart Greenhouse got a lot of traction at CES 2020, so much that the unit exhibited at the FrenchTech pavilion was sold during the show! Given that the price tag for such a large model (Family model, 22 m² / 242 ft²) varies between 8,600 to 22,000 euros (VAT incl.), that sale was a great validation of the product and the technology powering it.
Mickaël Gandecki, co-founder, CTO and Managing Partner, MyFood, told me that the Chef of the Tao restaurant at the Venitian Hotel was so impressed that he wanted his team to visit the smart solar aquaponic greenhouse during CES.
Founded in 2015 by Mickaël Gandecki, Matthieu Urban and Johan Nazaraly, MyFood aims to fight the damages caused by industrial agriculture by bringing food production back home, off-grid, using 90% less water, and without pesticide. The company’s mission statement reads: “Our ambition: to make it possible to produce at home a healthy, diverse and ultra-fresh diet all-year-round. Reconnect with nature and enjoy a sense of well-being.”
Why Do People Want it?
Combining various sustainable small-scale agriculture practices, MyFood delivers good crop yield on a small surface (22 m² / 242 ft²) compared to a regular vegetable garden. “Our 242 square feet smart greenhouse produces between 300 to 400 kg (660 to 880 lbs.) of plants per year which cover 80% of the needs for a family of four,” said Mickaël Gandecki.
For people living in urban areas, MyFood City is a smaller 38 square feet option that fits in a small backyard or on a rooftop.
Growing local organic food in sustainable urban gardens has been a hot trend in recent years, and MyFood came to CES with compelling solutions to address that booming market.
"OUR 242 SQUARE FEET SMART GREENHOUSE PRODUCES UP TO 880 LBS. OF PLANTS PER YEAR WHICH COVER 80% OF THE NEEDS FOR A FAMILY OF FOUR"
How does it work on the agriculture side?
The complete version of MyFood Family is powered by solar panels, can operate off-grid and is also equipped with a rainwater collection system.
Besides the greenhouse structure, the entry-level model (8,590 euros VAT incl.) only features the central module with the aquaponic system where the fishes swim at the base of vertical towers supporting plants. The waste from fish fertilizes the vegetable growing while their roots clean the water by absorbing the waste. Aquaponic systems on average require about 10% of the water needed for regular farming.
Customers who want to spend a little more can buy raised beds to surround the greenhouse and benefit from some permaculture principles to produce more organic food. Besides letting the soil breathe and promoting bacterial development, MyFood recommends creating a clever association of plants to grow in those beds. Developing a rich, diverse, and sustainable vegetal ecosystem that mimics nature is inspired by the “Diversity” design principle of Permaculture. Ultimately, the beds become self-fertile after a while.
What’s New at CES and How Smart Is the MyFood Greenhouse?
CES is all about electronics and software so the MyFood Smart Greenhouse would not be there without some intelligence and connectivity.
Thanks to a Smartbox packed with sensors and equipped with SigFox connectivity, the greenhouse can be remotely monitored via myfoodhub, the companion application. From the mobile dashboard, users access data such as indoor and outdoor temperatures, humidity level, water temperature and acidity, and crop evolution status.
From the mobile application to its website and YouTube Channel, MyFood provides customer support, education materials and recommendations to help beginners or seasoned gardeners.
For example, when the sensors record high temperatures inside and the weather report predicts a heatwave in the next days, the application notifies the user to deploy a dedicated shade cloth and open the doors.
On the software side, the company claims on its website to use artificial intelligence algorithms to leverage the knowledge base created by all the MyFood Smart Greenhouses that are connected to a common network. In addition, an internal social network is available to customers with a team of MyFood agronomists answering questions and providing advice."WE ARE LIKE A WEB HOSTING COMPANY MANAGING SERVERS (GREENHOUSES) THAT OFFERS GREAT SUPPORT SERVICE."
At CES 2020, MyFood launched a new plant monitoring system, combining an indoor camera with artificial intelligence. The new feature will let MyFood remotely monitor each greenhouse productivity and provide recommendations or expert support on-site to their business clients, in case a problem is detected. The camera transmits the evolution of the plants’ growth but does not send any image to the servers, to ensure privacy.
“We are like a web hosting company managing servers [greenhouses] that want to offer great support service to our customers,” said Mickaël Gandecki, who worked in the IT industry before co-founding MyFood.
Complete Version (MyFood Family Signature) as of today 21,990 euros VAT.incl.
– please check with MyFood for the complete list of features.
- Surface area = 22,53m² / 593cm x 380cm (242 ft² / 19.45’ x 12.47’)
- height = 253cm / (8.30’ / ridge)
- height = 172cm / (5.64’ / gutter)
- Greenhouse only = 650kg (1430lbs)
- Full system loaded with water = 1500kg (3300lbs)
Operating Temperature Range
- -5°C to 40°C (23°F to 100°F )
- Single Phase 230V 50Hz
- Consumption < 70W/h
- Aluminum Greenhouse 22m²
- Automatic Openers (x4)
- Greenhouse Ventilation
- Integrated Work Table
- Fish Tank (x2)
- Wood Frame
- Zipgrow Tower (x16)
- Pump 4000l/h (1000gph)
- myfood Solids Filter
- Continuously Flow Irrigation System
- Sensors & Monitoring system – myfoodapp
- Welcome Box