On Wednesday, April 28th, Levo International, in collaboration with OPIM Innovate, showcased one of its many hydroponic installations to preschoolers at the UConn Child Development Laboratory. Born from an Eagle Scout project completed by founder Christian Heiden, (Applied Economics major) Levo International creates hydroponic greenhouses and sells them in the United States to support the organization’s growth in Haiti. There, Levo hopes to assist the Haitian economy by creating manufacturing jobs for the natives and popularizing a more reliable mode of small-plant farming–hydroponics–where soil is not needed.
During the hydroponics showcase, Heiden explained hydroponics to the preschoolers, students-teachers, and Laboratory staff at the event. While the content had to be simplified for the younger members of the audience, the concepts were still well received with much enthusiasm from the children. In addition, as a gift to the Child Development Laboratory, Heiden donated the very greenhouse he showcased with hopes that the program would use it to grow vegetables and fruits for the children. The system can grow fruits like tomatoes, raspberries, and strawberries, perfect for snack time!
So, how does it work? Well, the hydroponic greenhouse is fueled by a nutrient reservoir filled mostly with nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. From there, the water is pumped up to the top of the greenhouse, where it then flows through all the pipes to the seated plants. After the water reaches each plant, it returns to the reservoir and is recycled on a solar-powered timer. All a user has to do is check the roots of the plants to prevent the system from clogging and replace the fertilizer every two-to-three weeks. “That was our goal: eliminate most of the hassle,” said Heiden in his explanation of the system. “Especially in the United States, people are always on a time crunch.”
Want to support Levo International? Please click here to be redirected to their shop where they sell their greenhouses, nutrient starter packs, and wearable merchandise.