It seems like all cutting edge start-up companies begin in someone’s garage or basement, doesn’t it? In 2012 two geologists, Bryan Ernst (Ern-) and Tim Alessi (-essi), began designing a high tech system for growing plants in Bryan’s basement – that wouldn’t use any soil. With a finite amount of land suitable for agriculture, and with the world’s population increasing, the pair was curious to see how densely food could be grown in an urban setting. They experimented for over 2 years with over 50 different plants to see how each responded to this new environment. They manipulated the wavelengths of light the plants received, as well as the pH, CO2, dissolved oxygen and electrical conductivity of the nutrients the plants were given.