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Futuristic farm may use 250 times less water than normal

Futuristic farm may use 250 times less water than normal

Photographer Alastair Philip Wiper

THIS futuristic set-up looks like something out of a sci-fi film, but is in fact a simple way to grow some greens, albeit using different tools than usual.

The impressive shot, taken by photographer Alastair Philip Wiper, shows the grow hall at Nordic Harvest, a 14-storey vertical farm on the outskirts of Copenhagen in Denmark. Instead of relying on sunlight and soil to grow its crops, Nordic Harvest employs a less conventional approach: it uses robots to seed mainly leafy vegetables, such as salad leaves and herbs, in a nutrient-rich gel substrate that dissolves in water as the plants grow.

Meanwhile, LED light (responsible for the pink hue of the grow hall) and carbon dioxide are added, with renewable energy from wind turbines powering the entire process. Pesticides aren’t needed as the hall is kept free of harmful creatures, and the only water leaving the farm comes from the plants themselves.

Nordic Harvest says this means the farm consumes 250 times less water than agricultural farms and 80 times less than greenhouses. It also requires 250 times less space, according to the company.

Alternative farming could play a role in curbing some of the pressures fuelling climate change, as the increasing demand for food drives carbon emissions and deforestation.

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