Somerville, MA, United States
Somerville, MA, United States

Time filter

Source Type

News Article | November 10, 2015

It's sad when shoppers in some urban centers have to cross their fingers when buying packaged food in supermarkets. They hope the brand they choose won't make tomorrow's headlines, not because of health tips but because of product warnings related to disease outbreaks. Here's a concept that is likely to sit well with the supermarket-wary, an intelligent indoor garden—the kind that in theory makes buying overpriced packages of salad greens seem silly. A Massachusetts startup called Grove Labs has a Grove Ecosystem where you grow your own fruit and veggies. Also, through the mobile app, Grove OS, you control and automate the Ecosystem. You also gain access to indoor growing knowledge. Ben Schilller in Co.Exist described it as "a.bookshelf-shaped growing cabinet." The weight is 130 pounds empty and 400 pounds full. Gabe Blanchet and Jamie Byron are Grove Labs' founders. The group describe themselves as a team which includes engineers, inventors, farmers, biologists and designers. They have delivered over 50 prototypes to early adopters in Boston. With that feedback, said the founders, they iterated up to the product which is now seen on Kickstarter. They are prepared to launch nationally and they ask for help to make that happen. "We can kickstart a revolution, they said. "Let's bring food home again." The system involves clay pebbles as the growing medium. Just what can you transport from your shelf to your dinner table? The system can grow a third of a large lettuce clamshell a day, said Co.Exist, and herbs, greens and small fruits. Fish, plants and bacteria get along swimmingly. You feed the fish in the aquarium. The fish process the food into waste. Helpful bacteria convert the waste into nitrate, an optimal plant fertilizer. In this design, the three layers work together. "On top, there's a growing platform with a horticultural LED that moves up and down, depending on the height of the plant. In the middle is a shelf for seedlings and micro-greens, like wheatgrass. And on the bottom is an aquarium," said Co.Exist. This is a 25-gallon aquarium, said the company, with integrated lighting. Goldfish and tetras are recommended. The plants return clean water to the tank again, in a continuous loop, and it's not necessary to replace the water at any stage. How soon do you eat food that comes from your Grove? They answered, "Before you can grow the best crops, you have to grow the best bacteria. Plants will grow from the start, but they will be a little slow. The bacteria take about three weeks to establish and will keep improving with time. If your first crop is microgreens, you can expect to be garnishing salads within 15 to 20 days." The Grove Ecosystem will retail for an estimated $4,500 starting in 2016. Through Kickstarter, a pledge of $2,700 gets a Grove system with estimated delivery in May. They have a $100,000 goal; they raised $256,791 with 30 days to go at the time of this writing.

News Article | November 3, 2015

Lettuce is a pretty stupid thing to transport long distance: Ninety-six percent of it is water. From an environmental point of view, it makes more sense to grow lettuce locally, or with the help of a new appliance, even in your own home. Grove Labs, a Somerville, Massachusetts, startup, is set to release its Grove Ecosystem this November. It's an intelligent bookshelf-shaped growing cabinet. It can grow a third of a large lettuce clamshell a day, according to cofounder Gabe Blanchet, plus herbs, greens, and small fruits. The Ecosystem has three layers. On top, there's a growing platform with a horticultural LED that moves up and down, depending on the height of the plant. In the middle is a shelf for seedlings and micro-greens, like wheatgrass. And on the bottom is an aquarium. The three parts work together. "The aquarium's meant to replace people's flat-screen TVs," Blanchet says. "It's an engaging aquatic habitat, as well as the lifeblood of the system. The waste poop and the ammonia becomes nitrate for the plants." The plants return clean water to the tank again, in a continuous loop, and it's not necessary to replace the water at any stage. Gabe Blanchet and Jamie Byron met at MIT before founding the company in 2013. The 20-somethings then raised $2 million to develop their machine, which they've been testing with 50 families in Boston in the last few months. Aside from functional, Blanchet also sees the appliance as educational—a centerpiece for the family to share and communicate around. "The Grove is meant to inspire and educate families, especially children. It's bringing you closer to nature and allowing people who love to garden to garden all year round," he says. The kit comes with starter materials, including Hydroton clay pebbles (the top growing medium), gravel for the aquarium, and a jerry can. The whole thing looks lovely—though it's on the pricey side. The Grove will cost $2,700 during an initial Kickstarter campaign that launches today, and an estimated $4,500 after that.

Logan B.K.,Grove Labs | Reinhold L.E.,Grove Labs | Xu A.,Grove Labs | Diamond F.X.,Grove Labs
Journal of Forensic Sciences | Year: 2012

Synthetic cannabinoid agonists are chemically diverse with multiple analogs gaining popularity as drugs of abuse. We report on the use of thin layer chromatography, gas chromatography mass spectrometry, high-performance liquid chromatography, and liquid chromatography time of flight mass spectrometry for the identification and quantitation of these pharmacologically active chemicals in street drug dosage forms. Using these approaches, we have identified the synthetic cannabinoids JWH-018, JWH-019, JWH-073, JWH-081, JWH-200, JWH-210, JWH-250, CP47,497 (C=8) (cannabicyclohexanol), RCS-4, RCS-8, AM-2201, and AM-694 in various commercially available products. Other noncannabinoid drugs including mitragynine have also been detected. Typical concentrations of drug in the materials are in the range 5-20mg/g, or 0.5-2% by weight for each compound, although many products contained more than one drug. © 2012 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

Yeakel J.K.,The Center for Forensic Science Research and Education | Logan B.K.,The Center for Forensic Science Research and Education | Logan B.K.,Grove Labs
Journal of Analytical Toxicology | Year: 2013

Twelve cases of suspected impaired driving are discussed in which the drivers who subsequently tested positive for synthetic cannabinoid drugs underwent a psychophysical assessment. The attitude of the drivers was described as cooperative and relaxed, speech was slow and slurred and coordination was poor. Pulse and blood pressure were generally elevated. Horizontal gaze nystagmus was assessed in nine of the subjects, but was present in only two. The most consistent indicator was a marked lack of convergence. In all cases where a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) officer evaluated and documented impairment (10 cases), it was attributed to the DRE cannabis category. Performance in field sobriety tests was variable, ranging from poor to minimal observable effect. Synthetic cannabinoid testing was performed by LC-MS-MS. Positive results included: JWH-018 (n = 4), 0.1-1.1 ng/mL; JWH-081 (n = 2) qualitative only; JWH-122 (n = 3), 2.= ng/mL; JWH-210 (n = 4), 0.1 ng/mL; JWH-2=0 (n = 1), 0.38 ng/mL and AM-2201 (n = 6), 0.43-4.0 ng/mL. While there is good evidence of psychophysical impairment in these subjects, further structured data collection is needed to fully assess the relationship between synthetic cannabinoid use and psychomotor and cognitive impairment. © The Author (2013). Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

Middleberg R.A.,Grove Labs | Homan J.,Grove Labs
Methods in Molecular Biology | Year: 2012

Rodenticide anticoagulants are used in the control of rodent populations. In addition to accidental ingestions in humans, such agents have also been used for homicidal and suicidal purposes. There are two major groups of rodenticide anticoagulants-hydroxycoumarins and indanediones. Before the advent of LC-MS/MS, analysis for such agents was relegated to such techniques as TLC and HPLC with nonspecific modes of detection. LC-MS/MS has been used to determine any given number of rodenticide anticoagulants in animal tissues, foods, plasma, etc. Use of this technique allows for the simultaneous identification of individual compounds within both classes of rodenticide anticoagulants. The LC-MS/MS method presented allows for simultaneous qualitative identification of brodifacoum, bromadiolone, chlorphacinone, dicumarol, difenacoum, diphacinone, and warfarin in blood, serum, and plasma using ESI in the negative mode. Two transitions are monitored for each analyte after a simple sample preparation. Chromatographic separation is accomplished using a gradient of ammonium hydroxide in water and ammonium hydroxide in methanol. Chloro-warfarin is used as internal standard. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Grove Labs | Date: 2016-12-20

plant nutrients; plant growth nutrients. soil-based, ecoponic, hydroponic, and aquaponic products and supplies for the purpose of growing fruits, vegetables, ornamental plants, fish, and fungi within soil-based, ecoponic, hydroponic, and aquaponic growing appliances, namely, hand operated tools, supplies, and agricultural implements, namely, hand-operated trimmers, and hand-operated sprayers. appliances for providing ecoponic, hydroponic, and aquaponic closed growing environments equipped with apparatus for controlling environmental functions such as, heating, cooling, ventilation, and watering systems for growing fresh fruits and vegetables; LED (light emitting diode) lighting fixtures; LED lighting assemblies for ecoponic, hydroponic, and aquaponic growing appliances. on-line retail store services featuring ecoponic, hydroponic, and aquaponic systems, structures, and supplies for growing fresh fruits and vegetables.

News Article | June 2, 2014

Grove Labs Inc., a Boston-based startup focused on an indoor home-gardening system, closed a $2 million seed round on Friday. Upfront Ventures led the round, with Felicis Ventures, Vayner/RSE, Galvanize Ventures, and Tim Ferriss joining the round. “We had a decision to make – do we make standard greenhouse practices a few percentage points more efficient, or do we change the culture behind how people think and care about their food?” CEO and co-founder Gabe Blanchet told AgFunder. “We’ve decided to empower consumers instead of optimize back-end business processes. We can make a greater impact this way.” That impact will come one kitchen at a time, where Grove Labs aims to soon install home-appliances complete with LED lights and a dirtless growing system to grow herbs and veggies. The appliance is designed to look anything but dirty, and uses what Blanchet calls an “ecoponic” system. Similar to a hydroponic system, the grower uses no dirt, but simply water and nutrients to grow the plants. But while most hydroponic systems are not organic, an ecoponic system seeks to be just that. “We’re different than hydroponics,” Blanchet said. “We accelerate plant growth but instead of doing the sterile non-organic techniques, we’re leaning toward recreating ecosystems.” (You can see how co-founder Jamie Byron compares hydroponics to “ecoponics” here.) Not only are they looking to be more organic, but also they’re looking to be high-tech. The website flaunts pretty pics of iPhones that will give growers tips and allow them to order any nutrients, seeds or anything else they might need for their growing system. Despite the buzz around the recent funding, Blanchet won’t quite say when we can hope to have our own indoor Grove grower. “We’re excited to be much more public later this year, or early next year,” he said. And while keeping quiet about their milestones, Grove Labs did make their first spending after the funding public. “The first thing we bought?” they said in a May 29th Facebook post, “A $270 Juicer for office wheatgrass shots.”

News Article | March 23, 2015

Editors note: Nicola Kerslake is the founder of Newbean Capital, a registered investment adviser that manages early stage venture capital mandates for institutional investors. The firm also hosts Indoor Ag-Con, an industry event on the future of indoor agriculture. It’s next event is on March 31 and April 1 in Las Vegas, NV. Indoor agriculture is a $500m+ industry in the US, according to market research firm IBISWorld, but we estimate the potential market at more like $9bn. We define indoor agriculture as growing produce and raising fish in warehouses, containers and greenhouses using hydroponic, aeroponic, and aquaponic techniques. In its recently released annual investing report, AgFunder noted that indoor agriculture had a “breakout year” receiving 7% of invested dollars in 2014. This reflects the fact that the industry is changing rapidly – we expect the current 15 US commercial-scale vertical and rooftop greenhouse farms will be joined by 30 new ones this year alone. The growth in this industry is being driven in large part by these six ‘mega-trends’: From automatic seed planters, to harvesting robots, to greenhouse roof washers, indoor agriculture has long relied on automation, and this trend is intensifying as enabling technologies become cheaper and more plentiful. Many technologies are still nascent; a Canadian research organization – Vineland Research and Innovation Centre – is currently trialing a robot that picks mushrooms for example. Others are already commercial, such as Harvest Automation’s nursery robot, which can rearrange plants in a nursery for you. As in many industries, indoor farmers are beginning to develop ways to use big data, the internet of things, and predictive analytics to maximize yields and protect against crop losses.  MIT’s CityFARM is running an open ag project to allow researchers to share data. Others are attempting to make controls more accessible. For example, Bay Area based startup Osmo Systems offers affordable hydroponic and aquaculture monitoring and alert services. It plans to sell a base unit monitor with seven sensors and WiFi connectivity for less than $500, compared to over $3,000 for some existing solutions. Over the next three months it says it intends to ship out 40 beta test units to hobbyists and farms around the globe. Indoor farms have traditionally focused on growing leafy greens, as the likes of spinach, kale, lettuces, and herbs have generally been viewed as the easiest crops to grow in such systems. This approach is changing rapidly as farmers look for higher margin niches, especially ones where indoor farms have a natural advantage such as being able to protect delicate crops or growing off-season. Bright Agrotech – a firm that’s grown from a couple of founders to a decent sized team in the past year – suggests growing everything from strawberries to barley in its popular Zip Towers, vertical growing systems favored for their ease of use and elegant design. Elsewhere, Dutch greenhouse manufacturer Certhon has developed a mobile grow chamber that give freesias – a notoriously delicate flower – the optimal conditions for their growth, so allowing year round growing in any location. As the sector becomes better integrated into the food supply chain, farmers are building larger facilities to meet demand from national grocers and distributors. For instance, Aerofarms recently announced that it will build the world’s largest vertical farm in New Jersey.  Using aeroponic technology, the Company says it will be 75x more productive than a field farm, and repurposes an abandoned steel factory. On the other end of the scale, the products targeted to small farmers and consumers have long been plentiful, but now they’re becoming more sophisticated. TechStars graduate Grove Labs, for instance, is one of several companies piloting hydroponic fridges designed to grow veggies in home or small commercial kitchens. One of the great promises of indoor agriculture is that it will allow chefs to customize produce to meet their needs, whether that means an extra-lemony basil or a peppery microgreen. New Zealand startup Biolumic has figured out a way to use short zaps of UV light to imbue certain flavor profiles in plants shortly before they’re harvested. Note: This article does not constitute either investment or legal advice, which should be sought only from a qualified professional.

News Article | May 30, 2014

According to the company’s blog (read here), Grove Labs, a Somerville, Massachusetts-based provider a platform to power any size indoor farm, from home farming appliances to large greenhouses, raised $2.05m in seed funding. The round led by Upfront Ventures with participation from Felicis Ventures, Gary Vaynerchuk via its Vayner RSE, Galvanize Ventures, and Timothy Ferriss. The company intends to use the funds to continue to grow operations. Founded in 2013 by Gabe Blanchet, CEO, James Byron, CTO, Grove Labs provides Grove OS, a web-connected platform for monitoring, controlling, and optimizing indoor farms from any computer, tablet or phone. This technology has applications for local, healthy food production globally.

Loading Grove Labs collaborators
Loading Grove Labs collaborators