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Wednesday, 13 July 2016
No Land To Farm?,Here's How!!...And Its Certified Too
Green Sense Farms runs its vertical farm from a 2,800 square metre warehouse just outside Chicago. The farm is bathed in a pink glow - the effect of the thousands of red and blue LEDs - light-emitting diodes - which enable the plants to photosynthesise.
"We take weather out of the equation," explains Robert Colangelo, founder of Green Sense Farms. "We've created groundhog day here. Each day is consistent and it's the same, so we always get perfect plants every day."
Farming in a controlled environment means the plants grow within a certain time using 98 percent less water. At Green Sense Farms it takes about 42 days to grow a head of lettuce, which is from 3 to 17 days faster than it would take if grown in a field. Now, Green Sense is figuring out different red and blue light combinations to optimise growing other plants, such as chives or basil.
We also visit FarmedHere, another indoor farm, which uses an aquaponics growing system: waste from tilapia, a freshwater fish kept in tanks, is broken down by natural bacteria into nitrates, which is then cycled to the leafy greens grown there as fertiliser.
"Nitrates are the most available plant foods on the planet, so the nutrient-rich water from the fish tanks, is moved on to the area of our growth systems where the plants live. The plants take the nutrients, they filter the water, and the water recirculates back to the fish," explains Paul Hardej, cofounder of FarmedHere.
The indoor farm started off using fluorescent lighting, but are making the move to LEDs. It's the first commercial indoor farm to be certified as organic by the US Department of Agriculture.If we can try something similar in Nigeria,where there is a harder way of reducing pests and diseases,i know we can make something work out,and enough food for the ever increasing masses.