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  • Sustainability

Reducing the carbon footprint of farming

A new way to farm is growing plants using ultrasound and using less water to feed more people.

An ethical farming company set up after university has resulted in plants growing twice a fast, needing less water, and not needing pesticides. LettUs Grow was established by Ben Crowther with university friends after he finished studying engineering design.

Creating a more sustainable food system

Ben was intrigued by suspended farming, where trays of plants are grown in a greenhouse, without soil. He wanted to work out a way to use less water and feed more people and had read about the use of vertical farming.

He was then introduced to aeroponics which is a way of creating a more sustainable food system. The tech was developed from there.

What is aeroponics?

It's a way of growing plants without soil. Instead, roots are suspended in the air and constantly misted with water and nutrients.

How LettUs Grow use ultrasonics in aeroponic growing systems

What's special about the suspended farming method?

Normally, aeroponic farming uses nozzles to create a fine mist, but these can easily get clogged and it's hard to use nozzles across a big area, like in a greenhouse. 

LettusGrow developed a way of using ultrasound to more effectively disperse mist across plants, so they receive a better frequency and quantity of water and nutrients. 

Ultrasound shakes the water until it creates lots of tiny droplets, like a mist, which means you don't need to use a nozzle and means you can more effectively feed a large area of plants. 

What does this mean for the crop?

Plants grow up to twice as fast, need less water and don't need pesticides.

Real-life uses

During the pandemic's food shortages, LettUs Grow was able to quickly produce food and donated this to local food banks in Bristol. 


Project goal
Developed a new way to farm using less water to feed more people and reduce the carbon footprint of farming
The engineering
Using ultrasound to disperse mist across plants

"Together we grow over 50 different types of crop including carrots, strawberries, radishes and of course, lettuce."

— Ben Crowther, design engineer

Find out more

LettUs Grow has undergraduate and graduate internships for people studying at the University of Bristol and University of West of England.

Ingenia articles showcase a range of engineering and technology innovation.

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Ben Crowther - farming futurist

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The farming racks are designs using computer technology

Design engineer monitoring crops

Daily plant check-ups

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Preparing to sow seeds

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Seeds are sown onto their new beds

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