As a gardening-obsessed college student in Japan, Takuya Hasegawa wanted to figure out how to help more people start growing their own food–even if, like many people living in crowded Japanese cities, they didn’t have a yard or much room inside their apartment. He was studying aquaponics, and decided to make the smallest aquaponic garden possible: A system that could grow tomatoes or peppers inside a single water bottle. The Petomato was born.
The kit itself is fairly simple–a regular bottle cap is replaced with a small tube that holds the plant and a fibrous core that draws water inside–but it takes a few more steps than an ordinary garden. You have to follow a regular routine of changing and fertilizing the water, prune the plants so they can fit inside the tiny space, and even hand-pollinate your tomatoes so they can bear fruit.
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