You're probably wondering, "Why did you make the hike there?". Our answer: To soft-launched our upcoming grow media, ReNu Terra. We've been spending a significant amount of time developing the first compostable, circular sourced (crustacean waste) indoor grow media in the industry - and we knew it was time to share it with everyone. It's the product of love and labour between ourselves and our partner, circular materials company, Cruz Foam - have a read and get to know them, they're a great bunch of people!
With ReNu Terra, there are a few value propositions that we stand by:
- It’s a fully compostable and inert media
- It can return the benefits of chitin (e.g. resilient against pests and disease) to plants, while reducing an indoor grower’s waste volume. Chitin also boosts plant immunity, quality, and drought resistance naturally.
- It is PFA and heavy-metal free, with Cruz Foam having passed the ASTM D6400 and D6868 testing as well as being a USDA Certified Biobased Product
- It helps indoor growers eliminate food waste while creating an efficient closed-loop agriculture system
- It relieves the indoor growing industry of reliance on environmentally exhaustive options such as a major carbon sink, peat (the New York Times covers this well here), and rockwool, an non-compostable option.
A sample of ReNu Terra growing leafy greens, in collaboration with our partner, Cruz Foam
For those that came by, said hello, and got to see ReNu Terra for yourselves, we loved meeting all of you! We especially enjoyed watching some of you smell it to assess any potential lingering fishy-odor (we can attest that everyone confirmed no odor of any sort). It was also an absolute pleasure being side-by-side with our friends at FarmTech Society, an international non-profit industry association that Re-Nuble is a part of. They unite and support the Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA), and FarmCube, creators of an easy-to-use vertical farm, dedicated to the food, pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries.
What we were most excited about was the number of indoor growers we spoke to that are serious about switching to a truly sustainable grow media. We also gathered that the anti-peat movement isn't just limited to the UK anymore, but that there is a growing number of farms outside of that region that are realizing the lasting effects of peat degradation.
I managed to sit in on a talk about the peat industry, and am in agreement with a point that was raised: Switching the whole industry away from peat isn't going to happen overnight, and there are certainly benefits of using peat as a grow media. However, our team at Re-Nuble still firmly advocate that exhausting one single resource down to its bare bones isn't going to help us leave Mother Nature in a better state than before.
While there, both Tinia and I were part of panels. Tinia spoke about food safety and vertical farming, while I moderated a panel on successful vertical farming business models.
If you missed us or weren't able to attend GreenTech, don't worry, we'd still love to show you what ReNu Terra is all about before we officially launch it to the market in the next few months.
By Riyana Razalee