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Israel’s Flux Is Helping Feed The World With New Tech For Home Gardens

Flux founder Karin Kloosterman (photo credit: DANA MEIRSON)

Flux, a new Israeli startup, is developing new ways to grow food. In an age of global warming where more and more of the sources of groundwater are drying up or becoming brackish, Flux might just save the world.

The main product introduced by Flux is called Eddy. It’s a small device that does not require planting in outdoor soil to grow food. In this way everyone can have a home garden indoors. So let’s say that you live in an apartment or in a desert, you can still make your own tomatoes or greens.

But that’s not all. Eddy also integrates modern technologies that allow the user to monitor and control the growing environment. Sensors detect the levels of light, humidity and other factors related to successful growth and make the necessary adjustments accordingly.

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It also checks the weather and sends users updates to let them know if they need to take any actions themselves. In this way, Eddy can be used even by people who do have plenty of room for a garden, but who lack either a green thumb or the time needed to properly tend to one.

The startup boasts that Eddy “makes it apple-pie easy to grow your own fresh produce –– at home.”

And think about how this will change the lives of all of those people who live in third world countries. It will also make it possible to grow vegetables that are out of season and unavailable in the market.

Karin Kloosterman is the founder of Flux and its VP of marketing. Originally from Toronto, she has lived in Israel for 17 years. Having converted to Judaism 10 years ago, Karin says that she first came to the Jewish State as a biologist traveling the world and fell in love with both Israel and Judaism.

“I came by land over the Allenby crossing from Jordan. I fell in love with Israel immediately, ” she told Jewish Business News in an interview.

Kloosterman eventually married an Israeli, but explained her reasons for converting to Judaism as follows: “I just fell in love with the nation of Israel and wanted to be part of the nation. If you want to share the joys of the Jewish people you should also share their sorrow.”

Incorporated a year ago, Flux has $270, 000 in funding and 9 employees. It is currently working on a seed round of funding and hopes to bring in another $1.5 million. Karin Kloosterman explains that their employees did not come to work for the company to get high salaries, but are instead committed to the goal of feeding the world.

“This is a company that wants to change the world, ” she said.

Flux expects that its commercial product will launch at the beginning of 2017.

So why did Karin start Flux? Well this was something that she had worked on in the past in addition to being a journalist.

“I worked researching alternatives to pesticides, looking for natural solutions. I understood that there were so many problems in the conventional agricultural system which is broken.”

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One of those problems is the use of chemical pesticides. Karin has also worked on developing natural pesticides, such as the breeding of predators which eat the harmful bugs.

Flux also utilizes hydroponic technology. Hydroponics can be used in Israel during the Shmita (Sabbatical) year when the Tora prohibits new planting and harvesting. Since it is done indoors in water and the plants do not touch the earth, many rabbis have ruled that farming with hydroponics may be done during Shmita.

Karin Kloosterman also hopes that Flux will be instrumental in allaying world conflicts.

“This isn’t just another gadget, this will help people grow food. This can create a balance which could mitigate political tensions. People can grow food in a vertical garden where they can’t plant in the ground.”

So get ready to replace your bookshelves with a home garden. Flux and its Eddy will let you stack troughs of vegetables in a small apartment, or even a tent in a refugee camp.

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