The world’s first underwater greenhouse, dubbed ‘Nemo’s Garden’, is sustainably producing herbs, vegetables, and flowers off the coast of Italy. Their terrestrial plants are grown in six large clear domes or biospheres.
Nemo’s Garden’ can be seen glowing from the surface and the pictures of these large clear domes are spectacular. These biospheres are harnessing the ocean’s favorable environmental qualities to create a habitat ideal for crop cultivation. These qualities include the ocean’s temperature stability, abundant oxygen, CO2 absorption, and protection from pests.
Introducing a new type of agriculture
Sergio Gamberini, the man behind this innovative project has merged his diving experience building experience with his love for gardening.
Nemo’s Garden’s six “biospheres” hold around 528 gallons of air and are about two meters wide. These are anchored to the seabed by chains and screws so that they rest between 15 and 36 feet below the ocean’s surface.
Biospheres are used to grow various herbs such as basil different types of salad, tomatoes, courgettes, beans, green peas, aloe vera, mushrooms, and strawberries.
Sustainable alternative to on-land agricultural operations
Plants grown in these biospheres require a very small amount of starter water, but from there, they’re self-sustaining Sunlight warms the humid air in the biospheres, causing the salt water to evaporate and naturally condense as freshwater on the domes’ walls. That water then drips back onto the plants.
“Since the underwater farm needs an external source of water only for the start-up of plants growing,” reads the company’s site, “our system could be useful for those locations far from the bodies of water available.”
This innovative way of farming will provide a water-conserving, overall sustainable alternative to on-land agricultural operations. In particular dry coastal nations will be able to grow more food without desalinating more water.