From the ancient rice terraces of Yunnan to modern vertical hydroponics, agriculture comes in many different forms. Now, a group of Italian brains has created the world’s first underwater garden for land plants.
Algae and seaweed have been cultivated along the coasts for centuries, but in small submersible glass domes, pots of basil, lettuce, tomatoes and even zucchini flowers, peas, aloe vera and mushrooms they grow like in any other home garden.
Large, self-contained and fully contained biospheres would, in theory, be scalable, and perhaps in the future could be seen as the underwater city of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.
The challenges inherent in growing plants underwater, given that they are normally found at home in the ground, was just one of the obstacles Nemo had to overcome. All six air-filled greenhouses (or should they be blue houses?) Suffered significant storm damage in October 2019, and before they could be fully repaired, COVID-19 had all the researchers sheltered in place.
However, the team never gave up hope, as Euronews reports, and months of neglect did not damage the facility in any way. On June 6, the garden was back in full operation, including its live broadcast where one can literally see the plants grow.
The biospheres, found eight meters below the surface off the coast of Noli in Liguria, use solar energy for their minimal electrical needs, and evaporated seawater condenses on the roof glass that waters the plants. A diver swims below and up in the pod’s air pocket to collect what he is ready to eat.
The project’s website says that higher pressure like that found under the ocean is actually beneficial for the rate at which plants can germinate, although they admit that very little research has been published on the subject; after all, there aren’t that many people currently trying to grow. strawberries under water
The conditions create a really intense flavor in the vegetables and also allow the environment of the plants to be completely controlled, with nothing affecting their life that the growers do not want.
For now, Nemo’s Garden is essentially a research laboratory, but if the idea were to expand, it is hoped that it could strengthen food security on the peninsula and the world.
(WATCH Inside Nemo’s garden in the video below).
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