Solar Panel Farm Grows 17,000 Tons of Food Without Soil, Pesticides, Fossil Fuels or Groundwater

The newest agriculture technique might be the solution for the food –a growing problem that arises in locations that do not support tradition agriculture.

As the world’s population grows, the demand for food increases as well, and despite the numerous health risks they pose, GMO foods are spreading and have become prevalent in modern agriculture.

The main argument for GMO makers is that such foods are necessary as the world is running out of resources, and they boost yield.

However, the investigation of the effects of GMO crops and the herbicides used on them shows that they are actually doing harm to land and soil resources, which explains why they are not a viable option.

It is alarming that in 2013 alone, by its own admission, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported that 93 percent of all soybeans and 85 percent of all corn grown in the US was already GMO. The next in line for genetic engineering approval are wheat, potatoes, and apples.

We are not directly affected by GE livestock at the moment, but in an indirect way, it plays a role in the amount of GMOs we consume daily. Namely, soybeans are the foundation of most animal feed and 60-90% of the soybean in the world is GMO, meaning that the animals that consume GMO feed can increase our risk of serious health issues.

On the other hand, a new environmentally-friendly innovation has been developed by a new start-up called Sundrop Farms. It claims that by 2050, rising populations will lead to an increase in food demand by 50 percent. Moreover, more problems arise due to climate change, which is linked to a growing number of more severe weather events, and the growing concern of dwindling fresh water resources to the mix.

Their high-tech greenhouses employ several solutions to grow crops with far less reliance on finite natural resources. Their technology actually reinvents the resources needed for growing crops, water, land, and energy.

The company launched its first pilot farm in Port Augusta, South Australia in 2010, located in the middle of a desert, a location where it is not possible to grow food using traditional agricultural methods.

Yet, Sundrop Farms combined seawater and sunlight in order to change the agricultural dynamic, by negating the effects of climate change.

The developers used coconut husks, 23,000 mirrors to reflect solar power, and desalinated water on 20-hectares, and managed to grow tons of fresh, wholesome, organic food.

The facility in South Australia uses seawater from the Spencer Gulf, desalinates it and uses it in a massive greenhouse lined with cardboard, and thus manages to grow produce without groundwater or rain.

They also reduce the need for water and soil by growing food hydroponically, and as the mirrors redirect the desert sun, all they need is sunlight and seawater to grow as much as 17,000 metric tons of non-GMO food annually.

Additionally, this agricultural technique produces year-round. During the winter, the greenhouse is fed with 39 megawatts of clean solar energy.

Even though the $200 million price tag initially seems too pricey, such a renewable technology and year-round growing seasons can quickly pay for themselves.