Nemo’s Garden: Underwater farm could be the future of farming

Nemo’s Garden is not your average farm for growing vegetables. It’s actually housed 30 feet under the waves, off the Noli Coast in Italy.

The underwater greenhouse is the creation of Sergio Gamberini – owner of scuba diving company, Ocean Reef Group – and his son Luca Gamberini. The father and son duo wanted to devise a way to grow crops on the ocean bed as a solution to a lack of viable farmland.

The main focus of the project is to create alternative sources of plant production in areas where environmental conditions make it extremely difficult to grow crops through conventional farming, including lack of fresh water, fertile soils, and extreme temperature changes.

Plants need constant temperatures, as well as water, light, and protection from harmful external elements, but it can be difficult to recreate these conditions outdoors all year long.

Submerged gardens, on the other hand, offer near-perfect growing conditions. There’s sufficient H20 for plant vitality, as well as a consistent, stable temperature, and light from the sun which penetrates the ocean’s surface to provide a steady light source. Being underwater, plant life is also protected from parasites and other terrestrial dangers.

In their quest to grow “perfect” garden vegetables, Sergio and Luca Gamberini embedded the underwater garden 100m off the coast of Noli in northwest Italy. Nemo’s Garden consists of a cluster of balloon-lie pods pegged to the seabed by ropes, half a dozen or so metres long. Inside the pods, a range of produce is being grown, including red cabbage, lettuce, beans, basil and strawberries.

Ocean Reef Group describe Nemo’s Garden project in “three words” – “eco-friendly, self-sustainable and ecological”.

The scuba diving specialists claim that the underwater farm is eco-friendly in that there is very little, if no interaction, with the marine environment and related ecosystems, meaning no harm is caused to marine life.

The use of renewable energy, the resource savings, the fresh water creation and its possible reutilisation make Nemo’s Garden a self-sustainable system. Indeed, once the crop system has been activated by using fresh water obtained by desalination of seawater, it continues to sustain itself without any external support.

Nemo’s Garden is also ecological in that no pollution nor damage in the seawater occurs. Inside each underwater farm, an efficient ecosystem, composed of dynamically interacting parts including organisms (plants) and non-living components of their environment, is developed.

Ocean Reef Group say: “Years of experimentation down the road, a number of biospheres created, vegetables crops, rough seas that destroyed everything, live web streaming from underwater, studies, data collecting, we now move the experiment’s site to the next level: more biospheres, different materials, more sensors, more cabling, hydroponic culture, more webcams etc etc.

“This year (2017) we draw the line for feasibility, industrialization, large scale production to really give an alternative solution to grow food in a responsible, small-footprint-on-earth kind of way.”

Nemo’s Garden

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She is a writer who specialises in sustainable lifestyle and living, wellbeing, and entertainments. Rosa also works as a psychic, counsellor, intuitive reader and spiritual life coach helping people to become who they truly are and manifest their heart & soul’s desires into their lives: www.rosalindmedea.com

 

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