Monday, April 11, 2011

Wave of the Future : Underground Farms

I'm so excited about this stuff I cannot tell you. I am collecting panels of the red-blue LEDs for my next experiment in nanogardening. I am planning to integrate with the next version of VAULT-OS to run the mini garden while I am at work and update me with SMS reports on my cell phone. I just need to finish my current rewrite of VOS to get the open source ready and I am right onto this.

This sort of thing is desperately needed and automation will turn it from a full time job into just another set of signals and slots for VOS. Aquaculture should be a close second. Aboveground food production is doomed. It's going to be increasingly expensive and finally unaffordable.

Olaf van Kooten, a professor of horticulture at Wageningen University who has observed the project but has no stake in it, says a kilogram (2.2 pounds) of tomatoes grown in Israeli fields needs 60 liters (16 gallons) of water, while those grown in a Dutch greenhouse require one-quarter of that. "With this system it is possible in principle to produce a kilo of tomatoes with a little over one liter of water," he said.

1 comment:

Rowan said...

Great post Tex. I've done some work on this in the past and follow some of the developments.

I wanted to roll out a particular piece of technology in the UK but it was not commercially viable under a communist system. In the meantime, several white papers have come out of Chinese universities and the business is booming over there.

One highly efficient crop you might have overlooked is grass! You can't eat it directly but almost all domestic animals can live on a 99% all grass diet (if you choose the right breed) and convert it into high quality protein. One particular Korean company has a video on youtube:

I wouldn't like to guess how much diesel it takes to produce an egg or whole chicken under this system but it could cheaper than purchasing said egg or chicken at the supermarket. Worth looking into.