Agriculture: Innovative system to grow vegetables at home


Grow vegetables at home thanks to a new simple, sustainable, low-cost and pesticide-free system involving precision lighting, targeted ventilation and minimal use of water. All this is being tested by ENEA researchers engaged in unconventional cultivation at the Biotechnology and Agroindustry Division laboratories.

The strong point of the solution, which takes the form of a simple mobile shelf in a size suitable for housing the plants to be grown, is a lighting system developed by BECAR Srl, a Beghelli Group company and leader in the sector, in partnership with ENEA as part of the PON ISAAC project financed by the Ministry of Economic Development, and based on LEDs that provide the plants with light in the spectrum useful for photosynthesis and with intensities that foster healthy plant growth. This state-of-the-art lighting system, combined with ventilation targeted to the needs of the plants and the use of conventional substrates (soil, compost), enables a complete vegetable production cycle to be carried out in the home. The first experiments covered a complete saffron cycle and trials are also being conducted for lettuce and tomatoes.

“The system is actually a downgrade of Microcosmo, the first hi-tech field simulator for scientific research ever made in Italy for the cultivation of plants indoors and in extreme environments patented by ENEA and FOS S.p.A. and sold by the start-up Piano Green”, explained Luigi d'Aquino, ENEA researcher in the Bioproducts and Bioprocesses Laboratory. “Compared to Microcosmo”, he added, “this device is simpler and cheaper to manage, it allows indoor cultivation with good production yields even in the home, and it also makes it possible for people to become producers without necessarily having to have any special skills or face prohibitive costs”.

For more information:

Luigi d'Aquino, ENEA - Bioproducts and Bioprocesses Laboratory,

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