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Underwater Farms — Nemo's Garden
by KindMeal.my, 20 May 2016
Underwater Farms — Nemo's Garden

Beneath the blue waters 100m off the coast of Noli in northwest Italy lies a cluster of balloon-like pods pegged to the seabed by ropes half a dozen or so metres long. Inside a range of produce is being grown, including red cabbage, lettuce, beans, basil and strawberries.

The research project, known as Nemo’s Garden, began in 2012 and currently consists of seven pods – biospheres – each of which can hold around 8-10 trays or 22 plant pots.
The company uses a version of hydroponics, creating fresh water through desalination. Seawater within the structures evaporates, drops condense on the roof and then drip back down as fresh water to feed the herbs and vegetables.

Luca Gamberini, whose family has been running the Ocean Reef Group for six decades, acknowledges this is a sticking point, but firmly believes underwater farming can be more than just a plaything for growing high-value, niche crops. Although the cultivation of Nemo’s Garden is yet to reach commercial scale, the aim of the project is to see whether that is a viable prospect and to plant more varieties of crops in the process, something that Gamberini believes is technically possible.

“We know that we can grow plants underwater, we know they grow faster. We now need to finalise our research ... hopefully by the end of the year, or next,” he says. “Worst case scenario, if we discover Nemo’s Garden isn’t feasible in terms of size, logistics and economics, is that it’ll be a credible eco-tourism resource, as scuba diving sites for islands and places with warm waters.”

This is amazing news for us but you don't have to worry about under-water farming or even growing your own crops, yet. For now, just head over to http://KindMeal.my if you're in the mood for some yummies to munch on.

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