Herbs, vegetables, and flowers are being grown in six gigantic glass domes, also known as biospheres, that are anchored to the ocean bottom one hundred thirty feet away from the town of Noli in the Italian province of Liguria. The domes resemble a cluster of large jellyfish.
Nemo’s Garden is the world’s largest, very first underwater greenhouse, and its name comes from the project that bears its name. According to Interesting Engineering, these biospheres use the ocean’s favorable climatic properties such as temperature stability, CO2 absorption, and natural pest management to create a habitat suitable for producing a vast array of fresh produce.
Because it was developed expressly for areas of the world in which environmental, financial, or morphologic conditions make the growth of plants extremely difficult, Nemo’s Garden has the potential to have a significant impact on the planet’s future.
According to the United Nations, there is still a need to nourish a global population of 9.3 billion people by the year 2050, even though weather conditions are expected to become extremely unstable.
The project team appears to believe that underground farms may provide a source of food for coastal regions where agriculture ought to be revolutionary to survive.
Nemo’s Garden was founded by Sergio Gamberini, president of Ocean Reef, a diving equipment supplier. In 2012, a farmer friend of Gamberini’s challenged him to combine his experience in the construction of diving equipment with his passion for gardening. It led to the creation of Nemo’s Garden.
Since that time, Nemo’s Garden has been looking into the possibility of growing terrestrial plants in an underwater environment. This underground Garden is home to over a hundred distinct plant species, some of which are used for culinary, medicinal, or fragrant purposes.
These plants include salad greens, beans, and strawberries, to name just a few. They have not only been able to harvest various crops from the biospheres effectively, but they have also discovered that the plants that were generated in this environment were higher in nutritional value than those that were grown using conventional methods. This is not the end of the story.
Regarding the engineering behind it, each dome contains around 20,000 liters of air that is held above a body of water with a surface that is below it. The light from the sun travels through the water surrounding the biospheres to heat the air contained within them.
During the winter, when there is less natural light, an additional light source can be provided by LEDs attached to the surface by a power cord. The water located outside helps keep the temperature within the dome at a constant level throughout the day and night. Additionally, the evaporation and condensation inside the dome help ensure that the plants always have access to clean water.
Siemens Digital Industries Software assists Nemo’s Garden, enabling the team to monitor the biospheres remotely and speeding the innovation cycles toward more rapid industrialization and scale.
Because the idea has previously been demonstrated to be viable and fruitful, the group is now in a position to explore the possibility of marketing the technology in other countries. Biospheres have already been constructed in Belgium, and the Florida Keys and further ones are now in the planning stages.
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