Energy is transported through the air by electromagnetic waves. Microwaves, radio or television waves, X-rays, ultraviolet rays or visible light are examples of electromagnetic waves, which are characterized by having different frequencies and wavelengths. The electromagnetic spectrum represents different frequencies and wavelengths that are known under different names (microwave, radio waves, visible light, etc.).
was Albert Einstein who proposed in 1905 for the first time that light has both
particle and wave nature. A beam of light includes a set of particles, called
photons. Photons corresponding to longer wavelengths (lower frequencies) carry
less energy than photons from short wavelength areas. Human eye captures
visible light between 400 and 700 nanometer (nm) wavelength area, which
corresponds approximately to the region of the spectrum that plants use for
between 400 and 700 nm is therefore referred to as PAR; photosynthetically
active radiation. Sunlight has a continuous spectrum within and beyond the
visible wavelengths. Human eye transforms different wavelengths into colors in
human brain. Short wavelengths close to 400 nm are perceived as blue color and
longer wavelengths in the 600nm area are seen as red light. Human eye has the
most sensitive region in the yellow-green wavelength area.
Plant pigments, photoreceptors, and photosynthesis
absorb the light spectrum in an almost similar range as the human eye, but
unlike humans, they absorb best red and blue light.
One of the main molecules enabling plants to absorb light and use its energy to transform water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and complex organic molecules is called chlorophyll and the process is known as photosynthesis. Chlorophyll is a plant pigment found in the intracellular chloroplasts, they are green in color and are in fact responsible of the green coloration of leaves and stems. There are two main types of chlorophyll found in the higher plants; chlorophyll a and b, which differ from each other slightly by their light absorption curves.
The small difference allows them to capture different wavelengths, catching more of the sunlight spectrum. Chlorophylls absorb mainly red and blue light and reflect green wavelengths, which is why we see plants green.
chlorophyll is not the only plant pigment; the so-called accessory pigments
(carotenoids, xanthophylls, etc.) and phenolic substances (flavonoids,
anthocyanins, flavones and flavonoids) capture wavelengths other than only red
and blue. The accessory pigments are yellow, red and violet in color. These
colors attract insects and birds, as well as help protect tissues from environmental
stress, such as high light irradiation.
are also other particles absorbing light; photoreceptors. The main
photoreceptor groups are phytochromes, phototropins and cryptochromes. In
addition, there is a specific photoreceptor for ultraviolet light; the UVR8.
All photoreceptors capture light in different wavelength areas and are
responsible of different responses in plants as described below:
affect the location of the chloroplasts and the stomatal opening. They absorb
capture external stimuli related to light and control the internal clock of
plants. In addition, they are related to morphological responses, such as
inhibition of stem elongation, expansion of cotyledons, production of
anthocyanins and photoperiodic flowering. Cryptochromes absorb UVA
(ultraviolet), blue, and green wavelengths.
responsible for flowering induction and seed development. Phytochromes regulate
stem elongation, leaf expansion, and “shade avoidance syndrome”. The
responses regulated by phytochromes are mediated by the ratio of surrounding
red and far-red light, which affects the photostationary state of the
8 tips for setting up successful plant trials with led
LED develop lighting fixtures supply an easy opportunity for growers and scientists to behavior plant trials with easy installations and a broad vary of different spectra in a couple of shape components. The following tips should inspire scientists and business growers who’re currently no longer conversant in research in horticultural lights, to learn how the other features of sunshine are valuable for vegetation in their utility. These pointers must also assist you to avoid maximum not unusual mistakes made which render effects pointless.
An Ordeal may also be performed in managed environments like enlargement chambers, greenhouses or plastic tunnels (the LED spectrum might be diluted via herbal mild in the latter two). In conditions with herbal light no day is like the next, thus longer trial sessions are advisable (absolute best to hide all seasons wintry weather, spring, autumn and summer season). Further knowledge corresponding to day by day mild integral (DLI) of outdoor gentle or “working hours” (transfer on / off) of the supplemental LED lamps, assist to research the outcome after completing the trial.
Plants convert the
energy of photons into chemical power. Through an depth find out about you
investigate the plant response to other mild depth ranges.
If you behavior the
trial in a rack setup the bottom intensity should be placed at the best shelf
and perfect on the bottom shelf. This means you’ll avoid stray mild rays
increasing the sunshine depth of therapies the place it is intended to be low.
Naturally, darkish foil that encloses a shelf and prevents light from escaping
will serve this function as well.
Select the intensity steps equally for the data research you will be carrying out. Specify your reference intensity peak, which can also be the cover or something else and keep in mind: vegetation grow against the light! Therefore, use dimmable luminaries and dim down the lamps as plants develop taller. Adjust it in your target depth throughout the trial period for a consistent depth stage during the find out about. Otherwise the intensity degree will naturally increase, while the plant is rising.
Light high quality
Next to the depth, the sunshine composition (spectrum) steers plant growth and plant construction. If you’re feeling undecided about which spectrum supports your growing goal, you’ll in finding many contemporary printed studies (Margit Olle, 2013; Demotes-Mainard et al., 2016; Bantis et al., 2018) otherwise you contact the biologists of your lighting fixtures supplier. If a lighting fixtures provider does no longer conduct analysis and does no longer have proprietary data, steer clear of them! The simplest means to make certain a spectrum will work is if the corporate promoting it has carried out extensive analysis with more than a few crops, in quite a lot of settings and with verification rounds. Studies with different light spectra are more difficult to conduct as the person treatments wish to be separated correctly (Fig.1). You can use black or white foil to split the therapies but take care particularly in closed environments that the air stream isn’t blocked. Target for the same depth in every light remedy to procure related effects.
The building of some plant species is controlled by way of the photoperiod (relation of day hours to night hours). Such short-day plants or long-day plants flower handiest when the crucial photoperiodic period isn’t reached or exceeded, respectively. Already very low gentle intensities 2-3 µmol/m-2/s1 are sensed and mediate a plant response (Lopez, 2009). Note that in greenhouse or plastic tunnels even moonlight or streetlight transmits a signal to the plant. Hence, you need to design the test house very sparsely to apply short-day prerequisites all over summer season. On the other hand, if you need to signal long-days below short-day conditions you can do it with low energy LED luminaires (or dimmed down luminaires).
If you behavior a study
on a small check space it is very important to distribute the sunshine
Keep in mind that your
results are more solid and credible if in keeping with handled crops which got
To be informed extra about light making plans, read a weblog submit titled Light Planning: 3 Steps to Ensure Efficient Plant Growth With LEDs
Light uniformity is
tricky however lighting suppliers with sufficient many shape issue variations
will be able to provide one thing perfectly uniform. Look for suppliers whose
equipment is often used in educational analysis.
Light measurement gadgets
Plants understand light
in a different way than humans.
The future of farming: robots, bees and vertical farms
manufacturing should build up as much as 70% to feed the 9 billion population
projected for 2050. Fortunately, the trade is benefiting from some radical
Bee Vectoring Technologies
Vectoring Technologies is a Canadian startup which has evolved a commercial
alternative to spraying food plants with pesticide. This cutting edge new
approach uses bumblebees to distribute a naturally occurring, organic,
inoculating fungus whilst sporting out their herbal foraging cycle.
The BVT system makes commercially reared bumblebees through a expert tray dispenser as they depart their hive. They brush previous a powder which clings to their fur. The powder is a naturally happening fungus named clonostachys rosea which, when absorbed through a plant, allows it to successfully block destructive illnesses, comparable to botrytis, in strawberries.
process has many merits. It reduces or negates the desire for spraying
insecticides, thus preventing chemicals getting into the water provide.
a large-scale trial in Florida it delivered comparable or progressed disease
coverage over sprayed chemical compounds, as well as increasing fruit yield via
between 7 and 29 per cent. This fruit was independently shown to be sweeter and
had a longer shelf life.
a contemporary trial on blueberries in Nova Scotia, yield will increase were
recorded at 77 %. And the bees, of course, are solely unharmed.
Vertical farming has been around for a while, however lately has begun to scale dramatically.
A New scheme primarily based in North Lincolnshire through Jones Food Company and Current, a department of General Electric, would be the greatest indoor farm in Europe, producing up to 420 tonnes of leafy vegetables consistent with year throughout a rising area of 5,120 m2 (an identical to 26 tennis courts) arranged in racks rising to the peak of 11m.
GE’s position is to install greater than 12km of its Arize LED horticultural bar lighting fixtures, which provide a balanced gentle spectrum that catalyses expansion and shortens the growth cycle. The facility is housed in a blank setting, so crops are grown in isolation from contamination. This makes it perfect for the wonder and pharmaceutical industries.
will use as much as 90 in keeping with cent much less water and 50 % less
fertiliser than typical rising strategies, saving on enter prices.
Radical efficiency boosters
Phytoponics is a Cardiff-based corporate having a look to revolutionise the efficiency of commercial greenhouses. Phytoponics grows vine plants, reminiscent of peppers and tomatoes, in an inflatable bag filled with water, which is attached to a pump to filter out in vitamins and aerate the water.
The develop bag is made of a flexible polymer which provides top efficiency, however is less expensive to transport and install than regular hydroponics systems. Founder Adam Dixon calls it a “jacuzzi in a bag”, and claims it makes use of 80 in keeping with cent much less water than soil-based farming.
Labs makes use of gene-editing applied sciences to cut back carbon emissions in
the agriculture trade. It does this by engineering specific plant traits and
characteristics and then breeding them into the vegetation, so that their
cultivation becomes extra efficient and less power intensive.
instance, vegetation that experience traditionally best been grown outside –
and due to this fact emitted extra carbon – can have their genes changed so
they can be farmed more successfully inside of greenhouses.
of these cutting edge companies are startups, and gained investment from the
Shell Livewire programme, normally serious about mainstream tech.
Arrival of the robotic army
all know the robots are coming to automate farming. But the level of the
progress being made might marvel farmers.
Projects such as the ‘Hands Free Hectare’ have proven that barley will also be grown fully without human interference. A PhD scholar at King’s College London has evolved the Growbot, which we could farm workers with no generation skills program it to accomplish guide duties. The venture has ongoing funding from the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board.
the dairy business, Universal Robots makes a robot arm ready to automate
labour-intensive duties such as manually disinfecting cows’ udders ahead of and
after being milked.
the trickiest house is fruit picking. Rosberg Greenhouse is utilizing a
universal robot gripper to select herbs and vegetation. The two “fingers” of
the robot gripper have built-in intelligence and complicated era that mimics
the way humans instinctively use our sense of contact after we take hold of
issues to transport them. This implies that the subtle produce isn’t harmed all
the way through this procedure.
price bringing up are robots made through Autostix and ISO Group, that are in a
position to take cuttings. At the present price of development, computerized
farms may well be mainstream within the subsequent 5 years.
the most hyped technology of our era, is seen as a potential game-changer in
creating trusted and transparent supply chains”
course, blockchain additionally will get a mention. The maximum hyped era of
our generation is observed as a possible game-changer in creating trusted and
transparent provide chains, and farming might be its best marketplace.
Thai Union, the world’s greatest seafood producer, is partnering with blockchain specialist Eachmile to watch production from the fishing vessel to buy ground.There’s a clever twist to the project: Etherium-based cryptocurrency Fishcoin is used to incentivise correct reporting. Workers will also be rewarded for right kind practices with Fishcoin, and made accountable for problems.
early days for blockchain in the supply chain, however with the Chinese
government on my own investing more than $three billion since 2016, there’s no
doubting its potential to the way forward for farming across the globe.
What is ideal PH in all hydroponics applications?
The two maximum necessary components in water and nutrient control are pH and conductivity, and a excellent figuring out and command of these variables is very important for successful hydroponic gardening.
pH is the measure of acidity or alkalinity of an aqueous resolution. If an answer is acidic then it has a pH in the vary of zero to six.9. If a solution is alkaline then it has a pH in the range of 7.1 to 14. Pure water or deionised water is neutral at pH 7.zero. The ultimate pH for most hydroponic gardening packages is between 5.8 and 6.2, except for for Rockwool cultivation, which likes a somewhat lower pH of about 5.5.
pH is the measure of acidity or alkalinity of an aqueous solution. The term pH refers back to the doable hydrogen/hydroxyl ion content of an answer. Solutions ionise into positive and adverse ions. If a solution has more hydrogen (certain) ions than hydroxyl (negative) ions then it is acidic and has a pH in the range of zero to 6.nine. Alternatively, if an answer has more hydroxyl (detrimental) ions than hydrogen (positive) ions then it’s alkaline with a pH in the range of 7.1 to 14. Pure water and deionised water has a steadiness of hydrogen (H+) and hydroxyl (OH-) ions, and is subsequently pH impartial (pH 7).
Why is pH important?
If the pH of an answer isn’t within the right kind vary the plant won’t have the ability to soak up one of the crucial very important elements required for right kind plant expansion. All plants have a specific pH vary, which is able to produce wholesome expansion, and this stage will vary from plant to plant, but maximum vegetation favor a slightly acidic growing surroundings (five.eight to six.2), despite the fact that maximum vegetation can continue to exist in an atmosphere with pH values between 5.zero and seven.0.
Growth Technology what’s pH how to regulate pHPlants grown in acidic environments can experience a number of symptoms, including aluminium (Al), hydrogen (H), and/or manganese (Mn) toxicity, in addition to nutrient deficiencies of calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg).
Conversely, in alkaline environments molybdenum (Mo) and macronutrients (except for phosphorus) availability will increase, however phosphorus (P), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu) and cobalt (Co) levels are reduced, and would possibly adversely affect plant enlargement.
From the chart you’ll be able to see that each and every element can become more and no more to be had to the crops as pH adjustments. If the pH of your answer is out of the desired vary, one or more of the essential components will change into unavailable to the plant, causing nutrient deficiencies, which can result in sluggish expansion rates, and poor yields.
How to measure your pH?
There are a couple of ways to test the pH of your nutrient resolution, equivalent to paper check strips, liquid pH test kits, and virtual pH meters. The paper take a look at strips are impregnated with pH sensitive dyes, which change color when dipped into the nutrient resolution. The paper strip is then in comparison towards a colour chart to determine the pH of the answer being checked. The liquid pH kits paintings by adding a couple of drops of pH delicate dye into a small quantity of the nutrient solution after which the colour of the ensuing liquid is when put next towards a colour chart.
The maximum high-tech means of checking the pH is with a digital meter. All you need to do is dip the meter/electrode into the nutrient resolution for a few moments and the pH value is proven on an LCD show. The pH meters are fast and really correct when correctly calibrated. These meters need to be cared for correctly or they will no longer function. The glass bulb electrode needs to be stored clean, and some are required to be saved wet always. pH meters also need to be checked and calibrated incessantly to insure accuracy. Adjusting your pH level
Passive hydroponic programs encompass growing in boxes or pots filled with a medium, corresponding to Soil, Coco, Perlite, Vermiculite, Rockwool Cubes, or hand-watering Rockwool Slabs. Usually for this type of cultivation we’d suggest that the grower makes up one huge container of nutrient at a time. A 200 litre plastic drum is an ideal container. Once that is made as much as the correct ‘strength’ (conductivity), the pH will also be checked and altered to the best level of five.8-6.2. A careful observe will have to be product of the exact quantity of pH UP or pH DOWN that is added right now. In long term, this quantity will also be added as a regimen when making up solutions, and pH should remain lovely consistent from batch to batch, although spot checks are beneficial from time to time. Ideally you can use a meter, for example, BlueLab pH pen. The nutrient answer in the tank should remain solid and can be implemented to vegetation as needed.
pH AND HARD WATER
Hard water is characterised through prime ranges of bicarbonates and it makes itself identified through depositing lime scale in kettles and by way of lowering the lathering ability of cleaning soap. Hard water will in most cases have a prime pH however not essentially. What will distinguish exhausting water is that it’s going to take a lot more acid to reduce the pH than with an an identical sample of softer water. This is for the reason that bicarbonates must be neutralized and this makes use of up rather numerous acid. The obtrusive downside for the grower is that he will be including reasonably huge amounts of acid frequently. If he’s using phosphoric acid this may lead to a build up of phosphate in the nutrient tank over time. High levels of phosphate within the resolution can inhibit the uptake of alternative components, zinc for instance, and cause basic nutrient imbalance.
Fortunately, properly formulated ‘Hard Water’ nutrient answers, akin to Ionic HW are designed to address this drawback. Conversely it’s essential to use a reverse osmosis gadget to filter your water, and then use the ‘regular’ cushy water nutrients.
Health and Safety:
pH keep an eye on chemical compounds are highly toxic and competitive liquids. Please practice these simple tips for safety and peace of mind. ALWAYS retailer these fabrics in a safe place, preferably in a locked cupboard. Always stay them out of reach of children. ALWAYS put on rubber gloves and protective goggles when dealing with any aggressive chemical substances. ALWAYS dilute pH control answers sooner than use.
The country can increase greens and end result manufacturing by way of 20 occasions through adopting fashionable agricultural technique ‘hydroponic’. This was once mentioned through agricultural mavens at the inauguration of hydroponic greenhouse, arranged by way of the Water Management Research Centre, University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) right here Friday. UAF Vice-Chancellor Dr Muhammad Ashraf inaugurated the hydroponic.
He was flanked through DG Water Management Punjab Dr Muhammad Akram, Water Management Research Center UAF Director Dr Muhammad Irsahd, Dr Ahmad Waqas and different notables also attended.
International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), Karachi University (KU), has effectively produced overseas variety of tomatoes known as cherry tomatoes in its green houses at the huge scale. This is for the primary time in the history of Pakistan that any institution is generating all these tomatoes via using cutting-edge plant generation. The cherry tomatoes have been cultivated since closing two years, whilst this time the cherry tomatoes have been produced on the huge scale as examine to the final yr. Director ICCBS, Dr Muhammad Iqbal Chaudhary, revealed the truth whilst talking to the media on Tuesday.
According to Dr Chaudhary, seeds of cherry tomatoes had been bought from Canada and germinated on the biotechnology wing.
For preliminary adaptation the plant has been grown in green properties the place environmental stipulations have been comparatively controlled and it was once a fully insects-free surroundings. After first cultivation from seeds, disease-free and healthy plants were propagated on a mass scale using plant tissue culture techniques and chopping techniques.
The newly propagated crops have been allowed to develop to endure fruits in such a machine that they utilise the utmost gentle, humidity and vitamins He mentioned that the tomatoes could be picked when they are shiny and frivolously colored, except for when it comes to streaked heirloom tomatoes. A handful of crops will produce large volume of the small tomatoes, especially when they in reality get going in the sizzling summer season months, he added.
In cooler climates, cherry tomatoes do very best in a greenhouse, particularly if temperature is stored beneath 64 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius). The mass scale propagation the use of above-mentioned techniques is in a successful growth and shortly will be offered for advertising as a brand new number of tomato fruit with superb options and its crops for local farmers for cultivation in mass scale. In near long term novel feature options will be evolved using Genetic engineering, Dr Chaudhary concluded.
Vertical Farms are modular and may also be adjusted to suit any development. Vertical Farms can also feed more folks then regular farming can as a result of they grow 75 times more meals in keeping with sq. foot then a standard farm. Vertical Farms additionally use no insecticides and no fungicides so the food is healthier and more secure. Vertical Farms also scale back water intake because indoor farms use 90 percent much less water than outside farms, so having a rainy or dry season doesn’t subject. Indoor farming too can keep watch over plant fertilizing vitamins so the meals this is grown is highly nutritious.
Grow a large volume of meals in a reasonably small space and use less water. 6,500 sq. meters = 900,000-kilo harvest. Vertical Farming strategies may lend a hand maintain lands and rain forests and in addition give time for other lands to get well and replenish topsoil and likewise assist cut back carbon intake. Better use of world’s present cropland may feed 3 billion extra folks. Green Houses
Controlled Environment Agriculture is a technology-based means toward food manufacturing. The intention of CEA is to supply coverage and care for optimum growing conditions all through the improvement of the crop. Production takes place within an enclosed growing construction equivalent to a greenhouse or building. Plants are frequently grown the usage of hydroponic methods with a view to supply the correct amounts of water and nutrients to the basis zone. CEA optimizes using resources equivalent to water, energy, area, capital and labor.
CEA applied sciences include hydroponics, aquaculture, and aquaponics. Controllable variables: Temperature (air, nutrient solution, root-zone), Humidity (%RH), Carbon dioxide (CO2), Light (depth, spectrum, period), Nutrient focus (PPM, EC) Fertilizers, Nutrient pH (acidity). CEA amenities can vary from fully automatic glasshouses with computer controls for watering, lighting fixtures and air flow, to low-tech solutions akin to cloches or plastic film on field grown plants and plastic-covered tunnels. CEA is used in analysis in order that a particular aspect of manufacturing can also be isolated while all different variables remain the similar. Tinted glass might be compared to simple glass on this manner all over an investigation into photosynthesis.
Another chance could be an investigation into the usage of supplementary lighting for growing lettuce below a hydroponic gadget. Vertical Farming is the observe of producing food in vertically stacked layers, such as in a skyscraper, used warehouse, or delivery container. The fashionable ideas of vertical farming use indoor farming techniques and controlled-environment agriculture (CEA) expertise, where all environmental factors may also be controlled.
These amenities make the most of synthetic control of light, environmental keep watch over (humidity, temperature, gases…) and fertigation. Some vertical farms use tactics similar to greenhouses, the place natural sunlight may also be augmented with artificial lights and steel reflectors. Ski town turns automobile park into Vertical Farm for Local Jobs/Food (youtube) – Vertical Harvest Jackson produces 100,000 pounds of vegetables a 12 months on a plot 30 ft through 150 feet long; their 1/10th of an acre website online grows an annual amount of produce an identical to 10 acres of conventional farming. Relying on hydroponics and shifting carousels, the farm uses 90% less water than conventional farming and doesn’t use any pesticides (only sticky traps).
Biofortification is the theory of breeding crops to increase their dietary worth. This will also be carried out either thru conventional selective breeding, or through genetic engineering. Biofortification differs from ordinary fortification as it focuses on making plant foods extra nutritious because the crops are growing, quite than having vitamins added to the meals when they’re being processed.
Window Farm is a hydroponic urban gardening system is an indoor garden that allows for year-round growing in almost any window. It lets plants use natural light, the climate control of your living space, and organic “liquid soil.” Uses open-source designs.Window Farms – Window Farms
Square Roots Grow uses shipping containers to help local farmers to grow GMO-free, pesticide-free, real food. $85,000 high-tech growing chambers pre-loaded with sensors, exotic lighting, precision plumbing for irrigation, vertical growing towers, a climate control system, and, now, leafy greens. It’s even possible to design taste.
Vertical Harvest Hydroponics builds enclosed systems out of transformed shipping containers. Around $200,000, including the customized freight container and the price to fly it in a C-130 transport plane.
Large Scale Vertical Farming
AeroFarms turned an abandoned steel mill into the World’s Largest Vertical Farm in Newark, N.J. – 12 layers of growth on 3½ acres, producing 2 million pounds of food per year. Growing a plant in about 16 days instead of 30 days in the field. Aero Farms Vertical Farming
Plantagon productive agriculture solutions in urban environments. Retro-fitting empty areas and buildings into sustainable food production. Can use office buildings basements, Residential buildings basements or underground parking, Factories, Custom made Concepts. Combination building, growing food on one side of a building and selling food on the other side, along with an exercise floor, health services, office space, science space, library, learning center, and so on. A Symbiotic System that combines municipal infrastructure such as cooling, heating, biogas, waste, water and energy with food production.
Kennett Township Pennsylvania region produces half the mushroom crop in the U.S., known as the Mushroom Capital of the World. In a small section of Pennsylvania, indoor farms are producing more than a million pounds of mushrooms every day.Kennett Mushrooms are the largest producer in the world of fresh mushrooms. Not only produce, but pack and ship all across North America, with delivery typically within 48 hours. That’s about a half a billion pounds of mushrooms a year. And that represents about 50 percent of the U.S. mushroom crop.
Netherlands Green Houses: 35% of Vegetables are grown on just 20 acres of land, 1% of farm land. 2 million pounds of tomatoes, double of outdoor farming. Growing 350 times more foof then a regular farm using 1/5 the water. 2nd in the world in exporting food. Dutch Greenhouse experts in greenhouse manufacturing.
Plants in Space are plants grown in outer space typically in a weightless but pressurized controlled environment in specific space gardens. In the context of human spaceflight, they can be consumed as food and/or provide a refreshing atmosphere. Plants can metabolize carbon dioxide in the air to produce valuable oxygen, and can help control cabin humidity. Growing plants in space may provide a psychological benefit to human spaceflight crews.
Bioregenerative Life Support System are artificial ecosystems consisting of many complex symbiotic relationships among higher plants, animals, and microorganisms. As the most advanced life support technology, BLSS can provide a habitation environment similar to the Earth’s biosphere for space missions with extended durations, in deep space, and with multiple crews.
Agriculture is a Life Support System, which is a group of devices that allow a human being to survive in space. US government space agency NASA, and private spaceflight companies use the term environmental control and life support system or the acronym ECLSS when describing these systems for their human spaceflight missions. The life support system may supply air, water and food. It must also maintain the correct body temperature, an acceptable pressure on the body and deal with the body’s waste products. Shielding against harmful external influences such as radiation and micro-meteorites may also be necessary. Components of the life support system are life-critical, and are designed and constructed using safety engineering techniques.
Space Greens beat the blues | Plants and psychological well-being in space. Plants may play a key role in maintaining the psychological well-being of space crews. Space travel can cause sleep disorders, a reduction in energy, inattentiveness and difficulty in problem-solving, and even memory loss. It can cause people to be more hostile, act more impulsively and, despite the danger and excitement, is sometimes boring. Any of these conditions and problems can lead to dangerous, if not tragic outcomes.
CEAC Lunar Greenhouse (youtube) Full Scale Lunar Greenhouse Prototype (youtube) Biosphere 2 is an Earth system science research facility located in Oracle, Arizona. It has been owned by the University of Arizona since 2011. Its mission is to serve as a center for research, outreach, teaching, and lifelong learning about Earth, its living systems, and its place in the universe. It is a 3.14-acre (1.27-hectare) structure originally built to be an artificial, materially closed ecological system, or vivarium. It remains the largest closed system ever created. Biosphere 1.
Earth System Science is the application of systems science to the Earth sciences. In particular, it considers interactions between the Earth’s “spheres”—atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, geosphere, pedosphere, biosphere, and, even, the magnetosphere—as well as the impact of human societies on these components. At its broadest scale, Earth system science brings together researchers across both the natural and social sciences, from fields including ecology, economics, geology, glaciology, meteorology, oceanography, paleontology, sociology, and space science. Like the broader subject of systems science, Earth system science assumes a holistic view of the dynamic interaction between the Earth’s spheres and their many constituent subsystems, the resulting organization and time evolution of these systems, and their stability or instability. Subsets of Earth system science include systems geology and systems ecology, and many aspects of Earth system science are fundamental to the subjects of physical geography and climate science. Systems Science
Earth Science is a widely embraced term for the fields of science related to the planet Earth. It is the branch of science dealing with the physical constitution of the earth and its atmosphere. Earth science is the study of our planet’s physical characteristics, from earthquakes to raindrops, and floods to fossils. Earth science can be considered to be a branch of planetary science, but with a much older history. “Earth science” is a broad term that encompasses four main branches of study, each of which is further broken down into more specialized fields.
Systems Geology emphasizes the nature of geology as a system – that is, as a set of interacting parts that function as a whole. The systems approach involves study of the linkages or interfaces between the component objects and processes at all levels of detail in order to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the so
lid Earth. A long-term objective is to provide computational support throughout the cycles of investigation, integrating observation and experiment with modeling and theory, each reinforcing the other. The overall complexity suggests that systems geology must be based on the wider emerging cyberinfrastructure, and should aim to harmonize geological information with Earth system science within the context of the e-science vision of a comprehensive global knowledge system (see Linked Data, Semantic Web).
Systems Ecology is an interdisciplinary field of ecology, a subset of Earth system science, that takes a holistic approach to the study of ecological systems, especially ecosystems. Systems ecology can be seen as an application of general systems theory to ecology. Central to the systems ecology approach is the idea that an ecosystem is a complex system exhibiting emergent properties. Systems ecology focuses on interactions and transactions within and between biological and ecological systems, and is especially concerned with the way the functioning of ecosystems can be influenced by human interventions. It uses and extends concepts from thermodynamics and develops other macroscopic descriptions of complex systems.
Systems Biology is the computational and mathematical modeling of complex biological systems. It is a biology-based interdisciplinary field of study that focuses on complex interactions within biological systems, using a holistic approach (holism instead of the more traditional reductionism) to biological research.
Biological System s a complex network of biologically relevant entities. As biological organization spans several scales, examples of biological systems are populations of organisms, or on the organ- and tissue scale in mammals and other animals, the circulatory system, the respiratory system, the nervous system, etc. On the micro to the nanoscopic scale, examples of biological systems are cells, organelles, macromolecular complexes and regulatory pathways. A biological system is not to be confused with a living system, which is commonly referred to as life. For further information see e.g. definition of life or synthetic biology.
Microclimates – Green House
Create Microclimates in a sterile environment that uses less water than field grown crops. Bees are allowed in to pollinate, but other bugs are kept out, eliminating the need for pesticides.
Greenhouse is a structure with walls and roof made chiefly of transparent material, such as glass, in which plants requiring regulated climatic conditions are grown. These structures range in size from small sheds to industrial-sized buildings. A miniature greenhouse is known as a cold frame. The interior of a greenhouse exposed to sunlight becomes significantly warmer than the external ambient temperature, protecting its contents in cold weather. Many commercial glass greenhouses or hothouses are high tech production facilities for vegetables or flowers. The glass greenhouses are filled with equipment including screening installations, heating, cooling, lighting, and may be controlled by a computer to optimize conditions for plant growth. Different techniques are then used to evaluate optimality-degrees and comfort ratio of greenhouse micro-climate (i.e., air temperature, relative humidity and vapor pressure deficit) in order to reduce production risk prior to cultivation of a specific crop.
Dalsem – High-Tech Greenhouses. (High Quality, High Yield, Short Growing Season). Desalination
Polytunnel or Hoop House, is a tunnel made of polyethylene, usually semi-circular, square or elongated in shape. The interior heats up because incoming solar radiation from the sun warms plants, soil, and other things inside the building faster than heat can escape the structure. Air warmed by the heat from hot interior surfaces is retained in the building by the roof and wall. Temperature, humidity and ventilation can be controlled by equipment fixed in the polytunnel or by manual opening and closing of flaps. Polytunnels are mainly used in temperate regions in similar ways to glass greenhouses and row covers. Besides the passive solar heating that every polytunnel provides, every variation of auxiliary heating (from hothouse heating through minimal heating to unheated houses) is represented in current practice. The nesting of row covers and low tunnels inside high tunnels is also common. Caterpillar Tunnel Hoophouse Bioshelters is a solar greenhouse managed as an indoor ecosystem. A bioshelter (life-shelter) involves two fields of knowledge and design. The first is architecture designed to nurture an ecosystem within. A bioshelter structure uses glazing to contain and protect the living biology inside, control air exchange and absorb energy. The building exchanges nutrients, gases and energy with the surrounding environment, produces crops, and recycles waste organic material into the soil. Solar energy is stored as heat energy in thermal mass such as water, stone, masonry, soil and plant biomass. The second is the biology inside the bioshelter. Earle Barnhart of the New Alchemy Institute has compared a bioshelter to a contained ecosystem. Solar heat is absorbed and stored in thermal mass to moderate air temperatures and provide heat for later use. Water moves from rainfall to fishponds to soil to plants and finally to water vapor. Year-round habitat is provided for beneficial insects . Ecological relationships between pests and their predators reduce the number of pests. Gases are exchanged among the animals, insects, micro-organisms, soil and plants. Nutrient cycles are developed between fish, plant & soil. Within the bioshelter are a variety of microclimates. The south areas receive the most direct sunlight. The east and west areas can be shaded for a portion of the day. Higher levels in a growing space will be warmer. A well-designed bioshelter, managed by human intelligence, can shelter a community of people, food crops, edible fish, and a diverse ecosystem of plants, animals and soil life.
Plant Nursery is a building with glass walls and roof used for the cultivation and exhibition of plants under controlled conditions, a place where plants are propagated and grown to usable size. They include retail nurseries which sell to the general public, wholesale nurseries which sell only to businesses such as other nurseries and to commercial gardeners, and private nurseries which supply the needs of institutions or private estates. Nurseries may supply plants for gardens, for agriculture, for forestry and for conservation biology.
Hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture, the method of growing plants without soil, using mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent. Terrestrial plants may be grown with only their roots exposed to the mineral solution, or the roots may be supported by an inert medium, such as perlite or gravel. The nutrients in hydroponics can be from fish waste, duck manure, or normal nutrients.
Hydroculture is the growing of plants in a soilless medium, or an aquatic based environment. Plant nutrients are distributed via water.
Hydroponics is the science of growing plants without soil— although the plants may or may not be suspended in a solid medium such as gravel, or expanded clay balls.
Soil retains minerals and nutrients, which “feed” flora, as we all know. Plant roots can’t absorb dirt, however; when water passes through soil, it dissolves and collects some of the nutrient particles embedded. This “food” solution is absorbable as a liquid. As you can see, the soil itself is not an integral part of a plant’s feeding cycle– it is simply a stabilizer for the roots, and a convenient filter. Why eliminate the soil? Plants breathe air, just like humans. School children are taught a simple lesson: plants take in carbon dioxide, and release oxygen. The entire plant– not just leafy material– contributes to this process. If not properly maintained, soil can retain too much moisture, effectively suffocating (“drowning”) a plant’s root system. Alternatively, if the soil doesn’t contain enough moisture, the plant will be unable to absorb the nutrients it needs to survive.
The roots of a hydroponic plant have constant access to both air and water, and it can be much easier to maintain that balance since the roots are typically visible.
The average plant needs at least five things to survive. Air, water, nutrients, minerals, and light. So long as you can provide these things in plenty, your plants should stay healthy.
Growing your own food can be a rewarding experience. If your hydroponic system is indoors, you can grow food during the off-season too. You’ll also save money on pesticide-free produce and knowing your food wasn’t shipped from a third-world farm that may be supporting bad business practices, like farm worker abuse
Although not necessary for the survival of a plant, substrate can help to support a plant physically and hold it upright, either by securing the root system, or by outweighing the plant itself. There are many kinds of substrates commercially available. Check your local greenhouse or hardware store. Alternatively, there are plenty to be found outdoors, especially near bodies of water. Even simple rock can alter the PH of your system. When checking your PH balance, be sure to check it after it has circulated through your substrate.
In the moisture-rich conditions hydroponics typically provide, substrate can be generally classified into the following categories: sandy, granular, and pebbled.
Sandy environments consist of particles between .06 (fine) and 2mm (coarse) in diameter. Even coarse sand retains a considerable amount of water (except in comparison to soil), and is not generally considered appropriate for use in a hydroponic system. If you use a pump, for example, the small particle size may lead to clogging. However, it is cheap and readily available, and, when wet, is heavy enough to provide a reasonable anchor for plant roots. There is some absorbable nutrient in sand. Typically speaking, the nutrients latent in sand culture vary widely on the substrate’s color and origin. Most sand contains a large quantity of shell fragments, and thus has a high calcium content. Black sand usually has a high magnetite content originating from volcanic rock, known for its fertility. Orange or yellow sand might be an indicator of a high iron content. White sand tends to be very high in silica, which helps build healthy cell walls in plantlife. Diahydro, for example, is made from diatoms, a type of algae. Sand is semi-reusable. Sterilizing it between uses can be messy. (Sand can be sterilized by boiling it in water for extended periods of time.)
Granular particles range between 2 and 4mm. This may consist of gravel, or plant mulch. Stone gravel makes a heavy, non-biodegradable anchor for plant roots, and is highly recommended for use in hydroponic systems. Stone gravel contains very little latent plant nutrition, just like sand. There are several grades of gravel readily available to choose from.
Creek rock and Pea Gravel consist of round, shiny stones. The smooth shape of these stones allows for great aeration and root growth, although the drainage may be excessive. Crushed rock is typically made by crushing large chunks of limestone or dolomite into smaller pieces. Crushed rock has sharper edges than creek rock, and tends to interlock better. This tighter knit makes for higher water retention, although limestone tends to weigh less. Limestone is a strong alkali. Check your PH, and balance accordingly.
Stone-based substrate is highly re-useable. It is considerably less messy than sand to boil for sterilization. If weight is not a concern (ie: the plants you grow are not expected to reach considerable heights) you might consider using a plant mulch, such as peat mulch, cedar shavings, or coir (coconut peat). Mulches retain a high quantity of water, but also breathe very well. Mind you, they are also highly degradable, which can lead to clogged pumps, and wood shavings often contain aromatic oils which can inhibit plant growth. Mould and algae growth poses a higher risk when mulches are involved, but pose one considerable advantage over rocky substrate: they can be composted and replaced with fresh material. It does not need to be stored. I wouldn’t suggest re-using ’em, anyway. This is especially convenient if you use hydroponic systems exclusively to start seeds, or grow during the off-season.
Pebbled substrate measures between 4 and 64mm. Stone pebbles have the basic characteristics of creek rock. They are typically smooth, often shiny, and the gaps between the stones make for low water retention and high aeration. The shinier the stone, the worse the water retention will be. A matte or pockmarked surface indicates a porous stone, which will stay damper, longer, whilst still providing excellent aeration. Pebbles– especially the porous variety– can explode when heated for sterilization.
You should boil your substrate between uses to sterilize it. Bacteria love warm, wet environments and will probably thrive in a hydroponic system. Algae loves wet and warm (and lukewarm… and cold) systems, too, and it can look unsightly. If you care about appearances, boiling your substrate between uses will discourage blossoming, but if you use grey (recycled from previous use) water you’ll be fighting a losing battle.
Mirabel Boston Premium Lettuce enriches the water with vitamins and minerals needed for growth and health of the plants, along with controlled for optimal results, such as temperature, light, humidity, etc. This technique requires strict safety procedures and sanitation. Avoiding the waste of water through reuse, eliminating the use of herbicides and fungicides and greatly reduces the use of pesticides. When all these conditions are combined, the lettuces are more tender, less fibrous than conventional agricultural methods.
I love farms that can supply Living lettuce with its roots intact. Delivering fresh lettuce with roots still attached lets moisture and nutrients continue to supply nourishment. Grown in a greenhouse using no pesticides or herbicides, delicious!
Aquaponics refers to any system that combines conventional aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as snails, fish, crayfish or prawns in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment. In normal aquaculture, excretions from the animals being raised can accumulate in the water, increasing toxicity. In an aquaponic system, water from an aquaculture system is fed to a hydroponic system where the by-products are broken down by Nitrifying bacteria initially into nitrites and subsequently into nitrates , which are utilized by the plants as nutrients, and the water is then recirculated back to the aquaculture system. Hydroponics.
Edible Seaweed are algae that can be eaten and used in the preparation of food. They typically contain high amounts of fiber and are a complete protein. They may belong to one of several groups of multicellular algae: the red algae, green algae, and brown algae.
Carrageenan are a family of linear sulphated polysaccharides that are extracted from red edible seaweeds. They are widely used in the food industry, for their gelling, thickening, and stabilizing properties. Their main application is in dairy and meat products, due to their strong binding to food proteins. There are three main varieties of carrageenan, which differ in their degree of sulphation. Kappa-carrageenan has one sulphate group per disaccharide, Iota-carrageenan has two, and Lambda-carrageenan has three.
Seaweed Farms suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and counteract ocean acidification. Seaweed grows at 30 to 60 times the rate of land-based plants, so it can draw out lots of C02, and grows enough protein to feed a population of 10 billion people.
Strong Arm Farm sustainably Harvested Sonoma Coast Seaweeds in Sonoma County, California.
Ecoqube desktop ecosystem that uses basil to filter water aquaponics.
Improving Ecosystems with Aquatic Plants. Study shows how to grow aquatic plants in large-scale plant production systems. Wetland restoration is critical for improving ecosystem services, but many aquatic plant nurseries do not have facilities similar to those typically used for large-scale plant production. This study attempts to determine what methods would effectively benefit the large-scale production of aquatic plants as a possible resource of bolstering the improvement of the ecosystems.
Aquaculture is the farming of fish, crustaceans, molluscs, aquatic plants, algae, and other aquatic organisms. Aquaculture involves cultivating freshwater and saltwater populations under controlled conditions, and can be contrasted with commercial fishing, which is the harvesting of wild fish. Mariculture refers to aquaculture practiced in marine environments and in underwater habitats.
Algaculture is the farming of species of Algae, which is an informal term for a large, diverse group of photosynthetic organisms which are not necessarily closely related, and is thus polyphyletic. Included organisms range from unicellular genera, such as Chlorella and the diatoms, to multicellular forms, such as the giant kelp, a large brown alga which may grow up to 50 m in length. Most are aquatic and autotrophic and lack many of the distinct cell and tissue types, such as stomata, xylem, and phloem, which are found in land plants. The largest and most complex marine algae are called seaweeds, while the most complex freshwater forms are the Charophyta, a division of green algae which includes, for example, Spirogyra and the stoneworts.
Microphyte, which are Microscopic Algae, typically found in freshwater and marine systems living in both the water column and sediment. They are unicellular species which exist individually, or in chains or groups. Depending on the species, their sizes can range from a few micrometers (µm) to a few hundreds of micrometers. Unlike higher plants, microalgae do not have roots, stems, or leaves. They are specially adapted to an environment dominated by viscous forces. Microalgae, capable of performing photosynthesis, are important for life on earth; they produce approximately half of the atmospheric oxygen and use simultaneously the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide to grow photoautotrophically. Microalgae is the base of the food web and provide energy for all the trophic levels about it. Microalgae biomass is often measured with chlorophyll a concentrations and can provide a useful index of potential production. The standing stock of microphytes is closely related to that of its predators. Without grazing pressures the standing stock of microphytes dramatically decreases.
Fish Farming involves raising fish commercially in tanks or enclosures, usually for food. It is the principal form of aquaculture, while other methods may fall under mariculture. A facility that releases juvenile fish into the wild for recreational fishing or to supplement a species’ natural numbers is generally referred to as a fish hatchery. Worldwide, the most important fish species used in fish farming are carp, tilapia, salmon, and catfish.
Vero Blue Farms onshore, indoor fish farm growing multiple species of fish on land.
Sea Lettuce a group of edible green algae that is widely distributed along the coasts of the world’s oceans. The type species within the genus Ulva is Ulva lactuca, lactuca being Latin for “lettuce”. The genus also includes the species previously classified under the genus Enteromorpha, the former members of which are known under the common name green nori.
Nori is the Japanese name for edible seaweed species of the red algae genus Pyropia, including P. yezoensis and P. tenera.
Micro-Greens is a tiny vegetable green that is used both as a visual and flavor component or ingredient primarily in fine dining restaurants. Fine dining chefs use microgreens to enhance the beauty, taste and freshness of their dishes with their delicate textures and distinctive flavors. Smaller than “baby greens,” and harvested later than “sprouts,” microgreens can provide a variety of leaf flavors, such as sweet and spicy. They are also known for their various colors and textures. Among upscale markets, they are now considered a specialty genre of greens that are good for garnishing salads, soups, plates, and sandwiches. Edible young greens and grains are produced from various kinds of vegetables, herbs or other plants. They range in size from 1” to 3” including the stem and leaves. A microgreen has a single central stem which has been cut just above the soil line during harvesting. It has fully developed cotyledon leaves and usually has one pair of very small, partially developed true leaves. The average crop-time for most microgreens is 10–14 days from seeding to harvest.
Sprouting is the practice of germinating seeds to be eaten raw or cooked. Sprouts can be germinated at home or produced industrially. They are a prominent ingredient of the raw food diet and common in Eastern Asian cuisine. Sprouting, like cooking, reduces anti-nutritional compounds in raw legumes. Raw lentils for example contain lectins, antinutrional proteins which can be reduced by sprouting or cooking. Sprouting is also applied on a large scale to barley as a part of the malting process. A downside to consuming raw sprouts is that the process of germinating seeds can also be conducive to harmful bacterial growth.
Shoot consist of stems including their appendages, the leaves and lateral buds, flowering stems and flower buds. The new growth from seed germination that grows upward is a shoot where leaves will develop. In the spring, perennial plant shoots are the new growth that grows from the ground in herbaceous plants or the new stem or flower growth that grows on woody plants. In everyday speech, shoots are often synonymous with stems. Stems, which are an integral component of shoots, provide an axis for buds, fruits, and leaves. Young shoots are often eaten by animals because the fibres in the new growth have not yet completed secondary cell wall development, making the young shoots softer and easier to chew and digest. As shoots grow and age, the cells develop secondary cell walls that have a hard and tough structure. Some plants (e.g. bracken) produce toxins that make their shoots inedible or less palatable.
Eden Works nutrient-rich Microgreens using aquaponic ecosystems that use 95% less water than conventional farms, no pesticides, and no GMOs. Located in Brooklyn, you’ll find us on the shelf within 24 hours of harvest.
Growing Broccoli Sprouts in a Jar. Add 2 tablespoons of broccoli sprouting seeds to a wide-mouthed quart jar. Cover with a few inches of filtered water and cap with the sprouting lid. Store in a warm, dark place overnight. Can use a kitchen cabinet for this. The next morning, drain the liquid off and rinse with fresh water. Be sure to drain all the water off. Repeat this 3-4 times a day. Continue to store your seeds in a warm, dark place. After a few days, the seeds will start to break open and grow. Eventually, the sprouts will be an inch or so long and have yellow leaves. Now you can move the sprouts out into the sunlight. Continue to rinse them 3-4 times a day until the leaves are dark green. Now they are ready to eat! This whole process will take about a week. Patience is key! Once they are ready, replace the sprouting lid with a standard mason jar lid and store in the refrigerator. How to Grow Organic Broccoli Sprouts in a Mason Jar (youtube).
Sulforaphane, a phytochemical in broccoli sprouts, improves obesity. Cancer prevention by detoxicating chemical compounds taken into the body and by enhancing anti-oxidation ability. Known to exert effects of cancer prevention by activating a transcription factor, Nrf2 (nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2), which regulates the balance of oxidation — reduction in the cell, and by enhancing anti-oxidation ability of the body and detoxication of chemical compounds taken into the body. On the other hand, when the balance of oxidation — reduction is deteriorated due to hyper nutrition and obesity, it has been known to be related to pathogenesis of various diseases. Kanazawa University.
Glucoraphanin enzyme myrosinase transforms glucoraphanin into raphanin, which is an antibiotic, and into sulforaphane, which exhibits anti-cancer and antimicrobial properties in experimental models.
Phytoestrogens are plant-derived xenoestrogens (estrogen) not generated within the endocrine system but consumed by eating phytoestrogenic plants. Also called “dietary estrogens”, they are a diverse group of naturally occurring nonsteroidal plant compounds that, because of their structural similarity with estradiol (17-β-estradiol), have the ability to cause estrogenic or/and antiestrogenic effects, by sitting in and blocking receptor sites against estrogen.
Grow Light is an artificial light source, generally an electric light, designed to stimulate plant growth by emitting a light appropriate for photosynthesis. Grow lights are used in applications where there is either no naturally occurring light, or where supplemental light is required. For example, in the winter months when the available hours of daylight may be insufficient for the desired plant growth, lights are used to extend the time the plants receive light. If plants do not receive enough light, they will grow long and spindly.
Migrolight 2.0 Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density (PPFD)
Photosynthetically Active Radiation or PAR, designates the spectral range (wave band) of solar radiation from 400 to 700 nanometers that photosynthetic organisms are able to use in the process of photosynthesis. This spectral region corresponds more or less with the range of light visible to the human eye. Photons at shorter wavelengths tend to be so energetic that they can be damaging to cells and tissues, but are mostly filtered out by the ozone layer in the stratosphere. Photons at longer wavelengths do not carry enough energy to allow photosynthesis to take place.
Intelligent Gro fully programmable color channels and automated 24 day/night schedules for all phases of plant growth or to replicate any lighting condition, sunrise/sunset, moon lighting, cloudy days or even make up your own spectrum to suit your personal needs. Certain color LED lights can cause food to grow differently.
In indoor growing, to grow 2 pounds of potato’s or tomato’s require about 1,200 kilowatt-hours of electricity for each kilogram of edible tissue they produce? 1,200 kilowatt-hours is the annual electricity consumption of the average American home refrigerator.
There are 3 factors to successfully grow crops with artificial light: Light Quality (recipe), Light Intensity (micromol), Light Duration (hours per day). This is different for every plant but generally the same species will do good under the same parameters. For lettuce we found that red/blue/warm white at a certain ratio seemed to work best for the flavor it gave the lettuce. The specific promotion of vitamin and carotenoid development such as lutein and zeaxanthin gives a good taste.
Engineered light to improve health, food. Intentionally controlled light can help regulate human health and productivity by eliciting various hormonal responses. Tailored LED wavelengths and intensities also can efficiently stimulate plant growth, alter their shapes and increase their nutritional value, opening a new world of scientific and technological possibilities for indoor farming.
Food is central to our lives – that’s a given – but our courting with it’s problematic:
Aagriculture is one of the main causes of local weather trade. With the arena’s population growing impulsively in the next few decades, the global call for for food is predicted to extend by means of 70%. However, the production of this meals is pricey: meat and dairy have the best possible world carbon footprint and agriculture makes use of 70% of the arena’s freshwater, to name only a few problematic facets. This coupled with a higher call for and pressure from the effects of local weather alternate creates a vicious cycle. How can we spoil it? Bowery Farming believes it has a solution. The corporate’s prime tech, indoor farms use a hydroponic gadget, requiring 95% much less water than traditional agriculture to develop produce. Additionally, vertical farming calls for much less house, that means that Bowery is 100 occasions extra productive than a conventional farm on the same amount of land. Because the farms are indoors, in intently controlled environments, there may be no need for insecticides.
These are simply a number of the ways that Bowery is rethinking contemporary agriculture methods. We wanted to know extra, so we reached out to Bowery CEO and co-founder, Irving Fain, to speak about his imaginative and prescient for nowadays’s farming practices and the function that generation can play in making improvements to our dating to food. What used to be your inspiration and mission for founding Bowery? I’m a big believer in era’s ability to resolve tricky issues. After development my final company, I wanted to spend my time working on a space that I Was in my view hooked in to and a set of problems that have been extensively essential. Agriculture sits on the epicenter of so many global issues as of late. Over 70% of our international water supply goes to agriculture, we use over 700 million kilos of insecticides each and every year in the USA on my own, and industrial farming practices have caused a loss of over 30% of the arable farmland within the ultimate 40 years. At the similar time, our global inhabitants is growing to 9-10 billion folks by way of 2050 and we will be able to want 70% more food so as to feed a inhabitants of that size, meaning that extra food will wish to be produced in the next 30 years than has been produced within the final 10,000. After turning into obsessed with the question of easy methods to provide fresh meals more successfully and sustainably to city environments, I teamed up with my co-founders David Golden and Brian Falther to build Bowery. Bowery combines the advantages of the best local farms with advances made possible by means of era in large-scale commercial indoor farms to grow produce consumers can feel good about consuming.
That’s a given – but our courting with it’s problematic:
agriculture is one of the main causes of local weather trade. With the arena’s population growing impulsively in the next few decades, the global call for for food is predicted to extend by means of 70%. However, the production of this meals is pricey: meat and dairy have the best possible world carbon footprint and agriculture makes use of 70% of the arena’s freshwater, to name only a few problematic facets. This coupled with a higher call for and pressure from the effects of local weather alternate creates a vicious cycle. How can we spoil it? Bowery Farming believes it has a solution. The corporate’s prime tech, indoor farms use a hydroponic gadget, requiring 95% much less water than traditional agriculture to develop produce. Additionally, vertical farming calls for much less house, that means that Bowery is 100 occasions extra productive than a conventional farm on the same amount of land. Because the farms are indoors, in intently controlled environments, there may be no need for insecticides.
These are simply a number of the ways that Bowery is rethinking contemporary agriculture methods. We wanted to know extra, so we reached out to Bowery CEO and co-founder, Irving Fain, to speak about his imaginative and prescient for nowadays’s farming practices and the function that generation can play in making improvements to our dating to food. What used to be your inspiration and mission for founding Bowery? I’m a big believer in era’s ability to resolve tricky issues. After development my final company, I wanted to spend my time working on a space that I Was in my view hooked in to and a set of problems that have been extensively essential. Agriculture sits on the epicenter of so many global issues as of late. Over 70% of our international water supply goes to agriculture, we use over 700 million kilos of insecticides each and every year in the USA on my own, and industrial farming practices have caused a loss of over 30% of the arable farmland within the ultimate 40 years. At the similar time, our global inhabitants is growing to 9-10 billion folks by way of 2050 and we will be able to want 70% more food so as to feed a inhabitants of that size, meaning that extra food will wish to be produced in the next 30 years than has been produced within the final 10,000.
After turning into obsessed with the question of easy methods to provide fresh meals more successfully and sustainably to city environments, I teamed up with my co-founders David Golden and Brian Falther to build Bowery. Bowery combines the advantages of the best local farms with advances made possible by means of era in large-scale commercial indoor farms to grow produce consumers can feel good about consuming.
What units Bowery aside from conventional farming?
While conventional farming methods waste sources and endanger our long term food supply, indoor farming permits us to develop more efficiently and with fewer sources. Bowery farms use zero pesticides, 95% less water, and are 100x times extra productive on the identical footprint of land than conventional agriculture. We’re also in a position to grow a wide variety of vegetation twice as rapid, extra crop cycles consistent with year, and more yield consistent with crop cycles than the sector, without reference to weather or seasonality. BoweryOS, our proprietary device machine, makes use of vision methods, automation era, and system learning to monitor vegetation and all of the variables that force their expansion 24/7, while combining tool and automation with industrial process control to optimize production, achievement and distribution. By applying proprietary device finding out algorithms to hundreds of thousands of issues of information accrued by way of an in depth network of sensors and cameras, BoweryOS could make computerized changes to environmental prerequisites to strengthen crop quality, health, yield, and flavor. Since we’re in a position to provide constant conditions for plants (many that are tough to develop outside, especially with converting international climates), there are really endless chances to what we will be able to develop at Bowery.
And because we’re with reference to the point of consumption and don’t have to fret about growing vegetation to withstand lengthy go back and forth distances or shelf existence, we will be able to grow extra flavorful, much less commodified plants. Additionally, as a result of we grow in a completely closed atmosphere, we drastically minimize the danger of contamination from foodborne illness. Unlike outside farms, which can be vulnerable to contamination from animal waste, tainted groundwater or irrigation run-off, Bowery produce is grown in a closed-loop indoor system that recirculates filtered municipal water freed from contamination.
And as a result of we regulate all the procedure from seed to retailer, our vegetables aren’t matriculated through huge distribution and success facilities that ceaselessly lead to further exposure to contaminants. Technology and agriculture aren’t incessantly considered together. Do you see them as natural counterparts? Agriculture and generation are historically deeply intertwined. While many people bring to mind generation as purely virtual, agriculture is in reality some of the first main human technological breakthroughs, and is the foundation for the creation of towns, cities and civilizations.
Over the years, there was constant innovation in agriculture, and it’s supported the expansion of human populations via nowadays. So tech and agriculture have at all times had a detailed relationship. Today, agriculture is on the epicenter of a lot of our world demanding situations. At Bowery, we began with the elemental conviction that era is significant to creating each a scalable and sustainable technique to the ones world problems. What more or less produce do you develop? Our proprietary technology BoweryOS permits us to grow a dynamic portfolio of various crops on a smaller footprint of land.
We these days offer nine SKUs at retail companions, including spring mix, kale mix, baby kale, arugula, butterhead lettuce, romaine, bok choy, sweet & highly spiced combine, and basil. Beyond that, we’ve experimented with over 100 varieties. Right now we’re curious about delivering the most productive leafy vegetables and herbs possible to our retail and restaurant partners, however we’ve already began experimenting beyond leafy vegetables with root greens akin to turnips, and plan to enlarge our choices someday.
How did you finance the corporate –
which VCs or companies invested? With Bowery, we have been fortunate to have various world-class buyers desirous about Bowery’s project, the technology we’re developing, the workforce we’re development and most significantly, the meals we’re rising. When we constructed our first farm, we were lucky to paintings with Rob Hayes and First Round Capital who led our seed spherical, together with a variety of other implausible buyers.
To date, we’ve raised $122.5M from main traders akin to Google Ventures, General Catalyst, and GGV. Bowery has additionally welcomed noteworthy thought-leaders within the culinary business as investors, together with Chef Tom Colicchio, Chef José Andrés, Chef Carla Hall, David Barber, co-owner of Blue Hill, and the founders of sweetgreen, among others. Where are you now located? Plans for expansion? We currently have two farms located in Kearny, New Jersey. This previous December, we introduced our Series B funding spherical of $90 million and we plan to make use of the capital to scale our operation in new cities across the nation and make bigger our network of farms in 2019. As CleanTechnica has already coated, Bowery has introduced plans to use a microgrid that can run in part off of solar energy to beef up an indoor farm year spherical. Can you talk a little bit about the advantages and challenges of using the microgrid and when this venture will likely be underway? We are working to incorporate a proprietary hybrid microgrid system that uses allotted energy resources, together with a rooftop sun array, a natural gasoline generator equipped with complicated emissions control technologies and lithium-ion battery energy garage gadget.
These solutions will assist duvet a significant amount of our energy intake needs for this farm and can set us up with the knowledge and revel in to install significantly extra sustainable solutions in future farms. We will proceed to meaningfully increase this percentage over time as we innovate on our electric power distribution efficiency. What are the prices of urban farming like in comparison with conventional produce? The present food supply chain has numerous inefficiencies. Because we’re positioned near the point of consumption, we minimize out much of the waste and cost in distribution whilst delivering a fresher, better product. At the same time, the generation we’ve advanced permits us to develop in some way this is 100x instances extra productive than conventional farming at the same footprint of land, which allows us to stay the cost of our produce competitive with organic merchandise grown within the field.
Do you foresee urban farming as the method to problems brought about by means of rising populations, climate change and increasingly limited assets? Yes, we view urban farming as one of the most solutions to problems led to through rising populations, local weather change, and more and more limited assets together with food and water provide as well as environmental degradation. For one, there merely is not enough arable land in the world to feed the rising inhabitants the usage of these days’s typical strategies, and recent produce loses 45% of its dietary price when shipped.
At Bowery, we resolve for this by means of reappropriating previously unusable industrial space to grow crops indoors, closer to the purpose of consumption, at a price this is 100x more productive per sq. foot of land than that of traditional agriculture. Produce may be most often grown in one central area, shipped to cold garage, then pushed by the use of long-haul around the country, and in the end transported through ultimate mile shippers to retail outlets. In the U.S. by myself, meals trucking is liable for 12.5% of general emissions.
By finding close to the purpose of intake, we enormously decrease the carbon footprint of food distribution. Additionally, whilst the agriculture industry makes use of 70% of the arena’s freshwater and over 700 million pounds of pesticides in the U.S. by myself, we use 95% much less water than traditional farming and absolutely no insecticides. What are your targets for Bowery in the following couple of years? Our objective is to open extra farms in new cities to give people access to more energizing, more secure, more sustainable produce. And, from a macro degree, so as to provide food for a growing population, we need to feed the arena with extra than just lettuce and herbs.
Getting these right is crucial first step, however in an effort to keep up with current buyer call for, we’re operating on rising extra kinds of produce as we construct extra farms, with an eye fixed towards better access for more other people. There’s an enormous alternative to deliver an infinite number of fresh, scrumptious produce to other folks world wide with Bowery’s technology.
What is going into making crops taste good? For scientists in MIT’s Media Lab, it takes a mixture of botany, machine-learning algorithms, and a few excellent old-fashioned chemistry. Using all of the above, researchers within the Media Lab’s Open Agriculture Initiative document that they have got created basil crops that are likely more scrumptious than any you’ve gotten ever tasted. No genetic modification is concerned: The researchers used computer algorithms to resolve the optimum growing prerequisites to maximize the concentration of flavorful molecules referred to as unstable compounds.
But this is just the beginning for the new field of “cyber agriculture,” says Caleb Harper, a foremost analysis scientist in MIT’s Media Lab and director of the OpenAg workforce. His group is now working on bettering the human disease-fighting homes of herbs, and they also hope to assist growers adapt to converting climates via finding out how crops develop underneath different stipulations.
“Our goal is to design open-source technology at the intersection of data acquisition, sensing, and machine learning, and apply it to agricultural research in a way that hasn’t been done before,” Harper says. “We’re really interested in building networked tools that can take a plant’s experience, its phenotype, the set of stresses it encounters, and its genetics, and digitize that to allow us to understand the plant-environment interaction.”
In their study of basil vegetation, which seems in the April 3 factor of PLOS ONE, the researchers discovered, to their surprise, that exposing vegetation to gentle 24 hours an afternoon generated the best taste. Traditional agricultural techniques would by no means have yielded that insight, says John de la Parra, the analysis lead for the OpenAg group and an writer of the find out about.
“You couldn’t have discovered this any other way. Unless you’re in Antarctica, there isn’t a 24-hour photoperiod to test in the real world,” he says. “You had to have artificial circumstances in order to discover that.”
Harper and Risto Miikkulainen, a professor of pc science at the University of Texas at Austin, are the senior authors of the paper. Arielle Johnson, a director’s fellow on the Media Lab, and Elliot Meyerson of Cognizant Technology Solutions are the lead authors, and Timothy Savas, a distinct projects assistant on the Open Agriculture Initiative, may be an author.
Located in a warehouse on the MIT-Bates Laboratory in Middleton, Massachusetts, the OpenAg vegetation are grown in delivery containers which were retrofitted so that environmental conditions, including mild, temperature, and humidity, can also be carefully managed.
Open Ag analysis lead John de l. a. Parra in a delivery container that has been specially outfitted to develop crops below controlled environmental stipulations. Credit: Melanie Gonick
This more or less agriculture has many names — controlled environmental agriculture, vertical farming, city farming — and remains to be a niche marketplace, however is rising fast, Harper says. In Japan, one such “plant factory” produces loads of hundreds of heads of lettuce each and every week. However, there have additionally been many failed efforts, and there may be very little sharing of knowledge between companies working to develop a lot of these amenities.
One function of the MIT initiative is to triumph over that more or less secrecy, through making the entire OpenAg hardware, device, and information freely to be had.
“There is a big problem right now in the agricultural space in terms of lack of publicly available data, lack of standards in data collection, and lack of data sharing,” Harper says. “So while machine learning and artificial intelligence and advanced algorithm design have moved so fast, the collection of well-tagged, meaningful agricultural data is way behind. Our tools being open-source, hopefully they will get spread faster and create the ability to do networked science together.”
In the PLOS ONE learn about, the MIT crew got down to show the feasibility in their approach, which comes to growing crops under other sets of stipulations in hydroponic bins that they name “food computers.” This setup allowed them to alter the light duration and the length of exposure to ultraviolet mild. Once the vegetation had been full-grown, the researchers evaluated the taste of the basil through measuring the concentration of unstable compounds discovered within the leaves, the use of traditional analytical chemistry techniques similar to gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. These molecules come with valuable nutrients and antioxidants, so improving taste too can be offering well being advantages.
All of the tips from the plant experiments was then fed into machine-learning algorithms that the MIT and Cognizant (previously Sentient Technologies) teams evolved. The algorithms evaluated thousands and thousands of possible mixtures of sunshine and UV length, and generated units of stipulations that would maximize taste, together with the 24-hour sunlight regime.
Moving past flavor, the researchers are actually operating on growing basil vegetation with higher levels of compounds that might help to battle sicknesses comparable to diabetes. Basil and different crops are identified to comprise compounds that help control blood sugar, and in previous work, de la Parra has proven that those compounds will also be boosted via various environmental conditions.
The researchers are now finding out the consequences of tuning different environmental variables such as temperature, humidity, and the color of sunshine, in addition to the effects of adding plant hormones or vitamins. In one study, they are exposing vegetation to chitosan, a polymer present in insect shells, which makes the plant produce other chemical compounds to chase away the insect assault.
They are also interested by the usage of their method to build up yields of medicinal plants such as the Madagascar periwinkle, which is the one supply of the anticancer compounds vincristine and vinblastine.
“You can see this paper as the opening shot for many different things that can be applied, and it’s an exhibition of the power of the tools that we’ve built so far,” de l. a. Parra says. “This was the archetype for what we can now do on a bigger scale.”
This means provides a substitute for genetic amendment of plants, a method that now not everyone is ok with, says Albert-László Barabási, a professor of community science at Northeastern University.
“This paper uses modern ideas in digital agriculture to systematically alter the chemical composition of the plants we eat by changing the environmental conditions in which the plants are grown. It shows that we can use machine learning and well-controlled conditions to find the sweet spots, that is, the conditions under which the plan maximizes taste and yield,” says Barabási, who was once not involved within the learn about.
Another vital application for cyber agriculture, the researchers say, is adaptation to climate exchange. While it generally takes years or decades to check how other conditions will have an effect on plants, in a managed agricultural setting, many experiments may also be accomplished in a brief period of time.
“When you grow things in a field, you have to rely on the weather and other factors to cooperate, and you have to wait for the next growing season,” de la Parra says. “With systems like ours, we can vastly increase the amount of knowledge that can be gained much more quickly.”
The OpenAg crew is these days performing one such study on hazelnut trees for sweet manufacturer Ferrero, which consumes about 25 p.c of the arena’s hazelnuts.
As part of their educational mission, the researchers have additionally developed small “personal food computers” — boxes that can be utilized to grow crops under controlled prerequisites and send knowledge again to the MIT group. These are now used by many highschool and middle school scholars in the United States, among a community of numerous users unfold throughout 65 nations, who can share their concepts and effects via an internet discussion board.
“For us, each box is a point of data which we’re very interested in getting, but it’s also a platform of experimentation for teaching environmental science, coding, chemistry, and math in a new way,”
The research used to be funded by Target Corp., Lee Kum Kee Health Products Group, Welspun, Sentient Technologies, and Cognizant Technology Solutions.