Plant science to your plate: meet Aigerim, our botanist

Category: Blog post
Aigerim Natufia botanist
Drops Pattern

Tell us a bit about yourself

I’m Aigerim and I’m a botanist at Natufia. My educational background is in Chemistry. Nevertheless, I found my passion with working plants by setting suitable conditions for their best growth and controlling the plants responses to light, watering and amount of nutrients. Also, my science background helps me to deeper understand plant’s sensory systems and explore more about retaining and recalling sensory information by plants. 

What is your role in the company?

I’m responsible for the botany part of the company. It includes different activities such as planning what types of seeds need to be selected and tested in order to reach the best taste quality. Observing and checking the adjustments of different conditions like lights, humidity, pH of water nutrients are parts of the experiments that affect the growth profile of plants inside Natufia units. 

The conditions required for the growth of the healthiest and most productive plants are set based on the results of responses that plants give us. Good maintenance conditions of Natufia Smart Kitchen Garden units are the key in getting healthy plants with the best growing profiles. The purpose of the experiments is to check the product design and analyse the growth of plants and give valuable information to the tech team to make technical modifications accordingly. 

What are the projects you are currently working on?

I’m currently working on several projects.

First project is about inhibiting the algae growth and boosting the seed germination with improved properties. This project is conducted with collaboration of Darwin21 research group at KAUST. 

Second project is testing the growth and blooming of Saffron in Natufia units. 

Another project is about testing new solutions for regulating the pH levels in water tanks.

What are your thoughts about growing your own food?

I think every person should start thinking about how to preserve, produce and contribute in providing more food sources. Food scarcity is one of the issues that people in some countries have started to face in recent years. If we do not take actions towards these problems, Earth’s last chance might become finding a habitable planet before a lack of resources causes the human race to go extinct. Natufia is moving towards the UN Sustainability goals that every country decided to work on, and I find Natufia technology as one of the solutions to the current problems we face. As we all know a healthy diet is essential for good health. By growing your own food, you can get all necessary vitamins and nutrients.

Your latest discoveries about hydroponic gardening

The word ‘hydroponics’ literally means that the water does the work. It is a unique gardening method for growing plants without soil. You can have access to fresh herbs and plants all year round. Hydroponics gardening makes your life easier by providing you with a huge variety of edible plants and doing the watering of plants for you. So, this type of gardening is becoming popular because people can grow their own food without any pesticides and fertilizers by keeping the environment and its habitants safe. There are lots of advantages to hydroponic gardening. One feature that will surprise you is that plants can grow faster in hydroponics than in-ground because plants have even easier access to the nutrients dissolved in the water. As a result, plants stay disease-free, healthy, vigorous and nutrient dense. I would say hydroponics gardening is an ideal space for growing fresh leafy greens and herbs with the best nutritional values. 

Red Basil grown in Natufia Kitchen Garden
Red Basil grown in Natufia Kitchen Garden

What’s your favourite herb/vegetable grown by Natufia?

My favourite is green lemon basil. It combines a flavour of lemon and strong fragrance that can occupy the whole room. Also, this herb is known to be full of a range of vitamins, antioxidants as well as anti-bacterial properties. You can enjoy this powerful green herb by preparing tea.

What do you like most about working in and with Natufia (unit)?

Natufia is a place for creative people who believe and work hard to pursue their dreams. Especially, I love working with plants and that is the main part of my job. I enjoy seeing how they grow from seeds to full size and taking care of them gives me special feelings. We also have a very friendly and healthy atmosphere in the company where everyone is open to discuss any concerns in a respective way. Another point that I like is being a part of an international team. Every team member has its own story and we learn a lot about our cultures from each other. 

3 TOP BOTANY TIPS you would give to Natufia owners

Tip 1

Make sure to maintain your unit weekly just as you would with any other kitchen appliance

Tip 2

Be creative and have fun with it: experiment with  different sets of Natufia seeds’ collection and explore plants that you can grow in the unit

Tip 3

Harvest as soon the plants are ready and enjoy!

I will be providing you with the best practices, growing tips and ideas around usage of your greens often, so keep checking our blog for that!

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