The food crisis is a real issue facing the world’s most disenfranchised people. With a growing global population, desires for meat protein, and a reduction of arable land, we need answers fast. An Italian family believes they have found the answer—Sergio Gamberini and his son Luca have started to create agricultural farms underwater!
This is not to say they are farming seaweed and algae in the salt water, they have actually created underwater bubbles where they grow herbs and vegetables. The Gamberini’s farm, called Nemo’s Garden, is a series of closed-loop systems using recycled water. These biospheres initially use desalinated seawater then collect the condensation from the walls of the sphere. This water is then mixed with fertilizers and reintroduced to the plant systems. Because the crops are in a sealed environment, there is very little chance of pests and disease.
The spheres are made from a transparent material that lets in light from the surface. This means that these pods can only be built at a depth that will still allow sunlight to pierce through the water—up to a depth of two hundred meters. The implications of this style of farming are vast.
I briefly mention arable land in my previous article, but I need to go more in depth to explain how awesome this family’s idea really is. Not everywhere on the earth is considered farmable land. Various factors such as the slope of the land, its composition, and its location can prevent an area of land from being usable to grow food. Experts estimate that only 11% of the world’s land surface area is considered viable for farming, and that number is slowly degrading thanks to land erosion and nutrient depletion. We recognize that this is an issue and are working very hard to fix it, but the world’s population keeps growing and everybody needs to eat. Once underwater biospheres become reproducible at a broader scale, hurdles to achieving food security will be easier to overcome.
Information about Nemo’s Garden and their vision for the future can be found here. (Warning: Music)
What other methods can we use to ease food insecurity?