Imagine not only holding a tiny ecosystem in your hand, but then eating it, in just a bite or two. That’s the concept behind Edible Growth, a 3D printed “mini vegetable garden” created by Eindhoven-based designer Chloé Rutzerveld. Rutzerveld designed the idea back in 2014, and since then, Edible Growth has grown in popularity, having been displayed in North America, Asia and Europe. Currently, the design is being showcased in Brazil’s Museum of Tomorrow, and is also featured in Rutzerveld’s new book, which was published last week.
Edible Growth consists of a spherical 3D printed crust with several holes in it. Inside is “edible soil” filled with yeast, seeds and spores that, within days, grow into plants and mushrooms that poke through the holes in the crust, becoming a bite-sized garden that is both adorable and nutritious.
One issue with 3D printing things like fruit and vegetables is that processing them into printable paste causes a significant loss of nutrients. By growing plants inside a 3D printed case, Rutzerveld allows them to keep their original form and all of their nutritional value, while employing 3D printing to create something new and exciting. Four years after introducing the concept for the first time, Rutzerveld reflected upon the fame of Edible Growth.