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Agri & Gardening agriculture under water  farming deep at sea in italy | Upload Vegetables

Agriculture Under Water: Farming Deep At Sea In Italy

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by: Peter Sant
agriculture under water  farming deep at sea in italy | Upload

Off the coast of Noli in Italy a father and son started an underwater farm. At eight meters depth they grow vegetables and fruit in the Mediterranean. Nemo's garden started as an experiment by Sergio and Luca Gamberini. The first project was washed away by a storm. Then a more permanent structure was put down and it is still there.

Farming at eight meters deep in the sea

Nemo's Garden consists of five biospheres that are connected with cables to a 'tree of life'. Each biosphere is connected to a control tower on land, which accurately monitors the entire process, regulates the temperature and provides power.

Because the crops suffered from the cold weather, father and son decided to grow their products under water. This allowed them to use the relatively uniform temperature of the seawater, which makes plants grow better. The domes work like a greenhouse, but then underwater.

Meeting future food demands

Qualified divers are required to maintain and operate the pods. 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. Tests carried out by Ocean Reef Group suggest that crops underwater grow faster than their counterparts, according to the company.

Ocean Reef Group has received interest from businesses and organisations, but has so far decided against selling the concept. Gamberini believes its place in the food system could be dynamic, from small producers to NGOs working on nutrition projects in developing countries.

Nemo' s under water garden and diver

The Nemo’s Garden team is keen to develop food growing opportunities for regions lacking much suitable soil or water, although others have expressed concern that projects such as this could disrupt the local food infrastructure. Photo by: AFP

That (meeting future food demands) is the aim, and it could be a sustainable way of agriculture. Not just local businesses, but for large parts of the world. Starting from Middle Eastern and tropical countries such as the Maldives, where there is not much (suitable) soil or fresh water to southern California, which is experiencing droughts.
Not everyone is convinced. Rachel Kerr is a relief worker who has worked on nutrition projects in sub-Saharan Africa. "My concern would be whether a set-up like this would disrupt the local food infrastructure. Coastal communities often rely on fish not just as food but as a source of income,” she says. “It would need to respect local customs and be mindful of the environment (the ocean)."
Gamberini acknowledges that some people may not buy into the idea of underwater farming, but believes it has the potential to work harmoniously with other food production methods. Despite his optimism, however, he remains cautious about its long-term potential.

We know that we can grow plants underwater, we know they grow faster. We now need to finalise our research. 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.

By: Jeannette Kras and Rich McEachran

All about Agri & Gardening

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Being involved in sustainability activities has changed my view on this subject a lot. Climate change and pollution are borderless and thus solutions and information has to be shared globally. Rich, 'developed' countries have to start supporting countries that don't have the means and knowledge to improve their situation. Sustainability movement is as strong as its weakest link - whatsorb.com is a helpful platform to speed up the X-Change of Global Sustainability.

 

Being involved in sustainability activities has changed my view on this subject a lot. Climate change and pollution are borderless and thus solutions and information has to be shared globally. Rich, 'developed' countries have to start supporting countries that don't have the means and knowledge to improve their situation. Sustainability movement is as strong as its weakest link - whatsorb.com is a helpful platform to speed up the X-Change of Global Sustainability.

 

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Agriculture Under Water: Farming Deep At Sea In Italy

Off the coast of Noli in Italy a father and son started an underwater farm. At eight meters depth they grow vegetables and fruit in the Mediterranean. Nemo's  garden started as an experiment by Sergio and Luca Gamberini. The first project was washed away by a storm. Then a more permanent structure was put down and it is still there. Farming at eight meters deep in the sea Nemo's Garden consists of five biospheres that are connected with cables to a 'tree of life'. Each biosphere is connected to a control tower on land, which accurately monitors the entire process, regulates the temperature and provides power. Because the crops suffered from the cold weather, father and son decided to grow their products under water. This allowed them to use the relatively uniform temperature of the seawater, which makes plants grow better. The domes work like a greenhouse, but then underwater. Meeting future food demands Qualified divers are required to maintain and operate the pods. 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. Tests carried out by Ocean Reef Group suggest that crops underwater grow faster than their counterparts, according to the company. Ocean Reef Group has received interest from businesses and organisations, but has so far decided against selling the concept. Gamberini believes its place in the food system could be dynamic, from small producers to NGOs working on nutrition projects in developing countries. The Nemo’s Garden team is keen to develop food growing opportunities for regions lacking much suitable soil or water, although others have expressed concern that projects such as this could disrupt the local food infrastructure. Photo by: AFP That (meeting future food demands) is the aim, and it could be a sustainable way of agriculture. Not just local businesses, but for large parts of the world. Starting from Middle Eastern and tropical countries such as the Maldives, where there is not much (suitable) soil or fresh water to southern California, which is experiencing droughts. Not everyone is convinced. Rachel Kerr is a relief worker who has worked on nutrition projects in sub-Saharan Africa. "My concern would be whether a set-up like this would disrupt the local food infrastructure. Coastal communities often rely on fish not just as food but as a source of income,” she says. “It would need to respect local customs and be mindful of the environment (the ocean)." Gamberini acknowledges that some people may not buy into the idea of underwater farming, but believes it has the potential to work harmoniously with other food production methods. Despite his optimism, however, he remains cautious about its long-term potential. We know that we can grow plants underwater, we know they grow faster. We now need to finalise our research. 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. By: Jeannette Kras and Rich McEachran All about Agri & Gardening