Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sunless, Rainless...Indoor Farming Yields Plenty.

(image courtesy of yahoo news)
One of the thoughts I commonly have during gardening is "Why am I bothering with all this? Its not going to be a LARGE source of food for my family." So, I reassure myself that every little bit helps.

As the economy tanks and hyperinflation creeps inevitably closer, it is important to keep my eye on the ball. The game I must win is keeping expenses as low as possible in order to maximize any and all monies coming into my house. Gardening is one way to cut expenses.

I have three seperate gardens growing in my backyard. I have plans to put a few citrus trees in the SW corner but aside from that, I'm getting a little low on space. I live in a cookie cutter neighborhood with neighbors five feet from my block fence on either side.

I was given a little renewed hope towards increasing my growing capacity after reading an article today titled "Future Farm: a sunless, rainless room indoors." It seems a team of Dutch bioengineers have been experimenting for more than a decade with this "indoor farming" concept and claim to be able to produce more food with less resources (including NO sunlight).

Using LED lighting in specific colors, manipulated day cycle of less than 24 hours, and one-fourth the water used in traditional farming, the team was able to grow a variety of plants three times faster than a greenhouse environment.

It appears growing plants without sunlight isn't a new idea. NASA grew plants under LED lights on the space station MIR and in our space shuttle in the 1990's.

Well, its all news to me and I've got a 350 sq foot "game room" that we added on to our house a few years ago that's not being used much these days. I wonder where I put those christmas tree LED lights...

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