(yü)ZEN Bostan is an aquaponic system where fish, plants, and microorganisms coexist in a symbiotic relationship. In this awe-inspiring natural ecosystem, microorganisms convert the fish waste into fertilizer for the plants, and the plants, in turn, clean the water for the fish. Humans become part of this cycle by feeding the fish, and harvesting the plants (and potentially also harvesting the fish if they must.) With several ground-breaking features, (yü)ZEN Bostan is our flagship product.
DİK(ey) Bostan is a hydroponic system where plants grow in a circulating water stream continuously providing oxygen and nutrients to the roots. This is a highly productive system that conserves water, and allows for vertical farming where agricultural land is not available. In cities where walls are in abundant supply, this provides a unique opportunity to raise everybody's quality of life.
With its modular, unobtrusive (dare we say attractive?) design, DİK(ey) Bostan is our most popular product
MOBİL Bostan is a family of raised beds that are optimized to follow permaculture principles to grow edible plants in urban settings. They come in various sizes, and can be easily moved with pallet movers on the hard surfaces of the city. The drainage system holds rainwater, thus reducing the risk of flush floods. The 100% recyclable composite material is CNC cut to minimize waste. Various types of covers protect the plants from strong winds, snow, and even city cats...
MOBİL(ya) is a line of furniture based on one of the most ubiquitous materials in the city--plywood; and is born from the expertise we have developed in working with CNC machines while building our urban farming products. The tables, chairs, stools, and planters in this collection are simple to produce in any big city around the world, easy to assemble, functional, and surprisingly durable relatively to their cost. With the ropes securing the interlocking pieces together, we hope the look also adds some spice to a bland urban setting.
Our goal is to grow our food where we live–not in a factory in the city, but where we actually spend time, i.e. at home, in the office, or at a restaurant. We want to be able to smell the plants, touch their leaves, watch them grow. We believe the surest way to reducing food waste is to see how much time and effort it takes for a plant to go from seed to seedling, and then to full size until it is ready for harvest.
When we think of food as something that we buy at the grocery store for a nominal price, maybe we don’t value it enough… We are designing systems that we hope will set food free from being valued just by its price. Because what we grow and eat is worth so much more…
The systems we are developing are meant to allow us/humans to become an integral part of the food production cycle. We want to design products that are purposeful, visually attractive, and easy-to-maintain so that they can be comfortably placed in shared workspaces, school hallways, hotel lobbies, subway walkways, and also in our living spaces at home. In our flagship product yü(ZEN) Bostan, four quite dissimilar species–fish, nitrifying bacteria, plants, and humans–coexist in a symbiotic relationship.
The system is fully modular: It can be expanded vertically by stacking growbeds on top of each other, and horizontally by placing multiple units side-by side. Each bed has place for 30 plants, which means that in an area of few m2, it is possible to grow hundreds of plants. The growbeds are CNC cut using a fully recyclable composite material called Pluswood that is produced in Southern Turkey. Pluswood is hygienic and easy to clean. It offers carpentry possibilities similar to plywood, but is waterproof, which make it also appropriate for outdoor applications.
One of our main areas of research has been on the (sun-)light that plants need for healthy growth; The wavelengths used for photosynthesis have been known for over a century; But not much more is well-understood about how plants use information embedded in sunlight to regulate their physiological processes or their responses to environmental conditions;
Practically all growlights currently in use in agriculture function on an on-off basis; Lights with red and blue wavelengths are kept on typically 18 to 20 hours, and off the remaining time of the day; This may work fine for photosynthesis that results in production of body mass; But does this provide the plants the ideal conditions for healthy growth?; The sun, of course, doesn't simply come full on in the morning, and turn off at night; Changes in the quality and intensity of the sunlight during the course of the day and over different seasons surely inform the plants to adjust their behavior; At EK BİÇ YE İÇ, we have spent significant effort in trying to develop the technology to mimic the sunlight as closely as possible; We currently partner with a local growlight producer that provides us with dimmable LEDs, where we can control different wavelength bands individually; This allows us to create the intensity of light as well as combination of wavelengths that represent sunrise, mid-day sun, and sunset;
The transitions are not sudden changes that could put plants under stress, but smooth shifts that give plants time to adjust--similar to what happens in nature; We have reason to believe that plants don't only react to the environmental conditions at any moment, but also to the rate and direction of change; Hence, the information content of our lighting system is core to our goal of providing comfortable places in the city for nature to thrive. Growbeds have integrated LED lights on the bottom , can be free-standing or wall-mounted, and comes with indoor and outdoor versions. It is also possible to grow freshwater fish and crustaceans in the aquaponic version of the system for harvesting if that becomes necessary.
Design Your Own Vertical Urban Farm!
Does an ecosystem that includes fish appeal to you? In (yü)ZEN Bostan, there is an aquarium in addition to the growing bed(s). In DİK(ey) Bostan, on the other hand, water, nutrients, and oxygen are provided from a water tank embedded in the base of the furniture. It is, of course, possible to use the two systems in combination.
Are you envisioning your farm to be indoors or outdoors? We produce the Bostans that are for indoor use with beech plywood, and those to be placed outdoors with recyclable, moisture-resistant composite panels. Depending on how much sunlight the outdoor location receives, you can save on the initial cost and ongoing energy expenses by not using an LED light on the top growbed.
How high would you like to go? DİK(ey) Bostan can have up to three stories of growbeds, each with a capacity of 30 plants. (yü)ZEN Bostan is also a vertical farm, but as there is an aquarium on the lower level, the number of growbeds is limited to two stories.
Maybe not as high-tech as (yü)ZEN Bostan or DİK(ey) Bostan, but these purpose-designed raised beds are as critical in an urban farming revolution as the other two components. In cities where more of the ground is covered with asphalt and concrete than soil, these beds provide the growing area in all kinds of outdoor spaces that have some exposure to sun. While each bed can be a stand-alone mini urban farm, beds in different shapes and sizes allow for infinite options to create visually appealing, convenient, and/or space-optimizing patterns. Taller beds make it easier to tend to the plants without bending down too much while shorter ones are are more accessible for children. MOBİL Bostan can be partially or fully filled with lightweight and porous clay pebbles (called hydroton) that reduce their weight relative to soil. In addition, they contain a drainage system. These two benefits allow them to be placed on rooftops and terraces as well as any surface at ground level. Quickly assembled on location, they can also be easily moved with standard pallet movers. Custom covers turn these beds to small greenhouses in the winter months, and protect from unwanted visitors as needed at other times.
MOBİL Bostan can be planted following different seasonal and regional themes:
🌱 Salad Garden – lettuce, arugula, chard, mustard greens, watercress, onion, parsley, dill, lamb’s lettuce
🌱 Herbal Healing Garden – aloe vera, dandelion, garlic, ginger, calendula, mint
🌱 Edible Flower Garden – viola, calendula, nasturtium
🌱 Root Vegetable Garden – carrots, beets & turnips, sweet potatoes
🌱 Companion Planting Garden – plants in a symbiotic relationship
We’re leveraging the know-how we’ve gained working with CNC machines, in designing and producing furniture that we need and, we hope, others would want. These are functional designs that foreground local production anywhere around the world with standard materials and production methods. Our chairs and tables are each made out of 3 CNC-cut plywood pieces that lock together, and are further stabilized simply with ropes. And of course, our inspiration for ropes comes from climber plants in nature…