We get it. Farming is old-school. We may have made happy faces at farm animals, but not many people have ever found produce farming to be a very exciting topic.
Basically there was dirt, sun, and water.
But science is changing the game. And you won’t be believe these five farms exist.
1. Underwater (Strawberry) Biodomes
Underwater strawberries are a thing. Next to a chocolate waterfall, this is the coolest thing that strawberries can be under. These five biospheres are located off the coast of Italy and are anchored twenty feet below the surface. The garden (aptly named “Nemo’s Garden) has been operated for the past four years and houses a number of plants along with the strawberries, such as basil, lettuce, and beans.
According to The Washington Post, the “underwater temperatures are constant, and the shape of the greenhouses allows for water to constantly evaporate and replenish the plants. What’s more, the high amounts of carbon dioxide act like steroids for the plants, making them grow at very rapid rates.”
Hear that? Underwater biodomes = Plant steroids
2. LED Farms
The sun is old-school and restrictive. My internal clock gave up on it years ago, so why not have the farming industry do the same?
LED farming is showing advantages over its outdoor cousin. Raising crops under LED lights can cut down on produce waste and also increase productivity per square foot. And hey California, water usage has been slashed to a fraction of outdoor farming requirements.
Plus, when the mist sprays down and the lasers turn on, you’ve never seen asparagus rave so hard.
3. Vertical Farming
Those LED lights need somewhere to live; let’s put them in a skyscraper. Vertical farming isn’t anything new. Some crazy American named Dickson Despommier has been lecturing about it for years. He even chatted with Stephen Colbert about it in 2008.
In fact, Vertical Farming is already being used successfully in Singapore at Sky Greens Farms. Vertical farms allow us to grow produce in large metropolitan centers. Think about it. Imagine a skyscraper in the heart of Chicago. We could be rid of the environmental destruction of the transporting fresh food. Saves money, saves the environment, and feeds the hungry. Your move, Earth.
Aeroponics continues the trend of leaving outdoor farming behind. Much like hydroponics, aeroponics doesn’t use soil to grow plants. The roots are suspended in dark chambers and periodically sprayed with what I can only assume is a protein shake for plants.
These plants grow faster, yield more, and are healthier since external variables are more easily controlled. But aeroponics isn’t without its problems. This particular style of farming can get quite expensive.
5. Space Farming
Space, the final Farm-tier. One of the concerns of space travel and universe domination has been the inability to keep a crew of scientists/conquerors fed for long trips through the universe.
But have no fear; Space Lettuce is here, and I guess it tastes “kind of like arugula.” This provides the astronauts with food and entertainment (gardening is fun) and it provides Natsume with an idea for the next Harvest Moon (literally on the moon) released on the Oculus Rift.
Is there any awesome farming that you think we missed? If so, hit us up in the comments and school us with your knowledge.
Post by Ian Sims. Sources for photos and facts listed below: