Future farm: a sunless, rainless room indoors
AP/Peter DejongYellow peppers are seen under Light-Emitting Diodes, or LEDs, at PlantLab in Den Bosch, Netherlands. More photos »
DEN BOSCH, Netherlands – Farming is moving indoors, where the sun never shines, where rainfall is irrelevant and where the climate is always right.
The perfect crop field could be inside a windowless building with meticulously controlled light, temperature, humidity, air quality and nutrition. It could be in a New York high-rise, a Siberian bunker, or a sprawling complex in the Saudi desert.
Advocates say this, or something like it, may be an answer to the world's food problems.
"In order to keep a planet that's worth living on, we have to change our methods," says Gertjan Meeuws, of PlantLab, a private research company.
The world already is having trouble feeding itself. Half the people on Earth live in cities, and nearly half of those — about 3 billion — are hungry or malnourished. Food prices, currently soaring, are buffeted by droughts, floods and the cost of energy required to plant, fertilize, harvest and transport it.
Black Blade: I don't see why not other than it being more work and energy intensive (managed lighting). The pot growers have been using hydroponic methods for decades. Oddly enough this is in the Netherlands - where they have "smoke shops" selling various strains of herbal delights.