Divers In Italy Growing Underwater Vegetables
Basil, strawberries and lettuce are being grown 30-feet underwater off of the Noli coast in Italy. A team of ‘diver gardeners’ have taken advantage of a surprising opportunity and have found that actually, a least on a small scale, growing vegetables underwater can be highly successful.
There are a number of advantages to growing underwater – a steady temperature, the absence of aphids and the atmosphere is CO2 rich. The products are grown in oxygen filled ‘bubbles’, which are tethered to the ocean floor.
The plants reportedly grow at a terrific pace because of the high CO2 levels. Members of the Orto di Nemo project say that they can lose multiple crops during a year and still get more out of their plants than if they were growing on land.
The scalability of this farming method is unclear. However, it is an illustration of thinking outside current paradigms and innovating in new ways. The global food system faces substantial challenges over the next couple of decades with high levels of waste, soil degradation and an ever-increasing demand. Innovation, systemic thinking and a regenerative approach will be needed to create an effective food system that can provide prosperity for 9 billion people in 2050.