Using the sun and the sea, renewable sources of energy and water, a desert farming operation in Australia show how organic food in a fresh new and sustainable way.
The soil-free hydroponic systems of Sundrop Farms use solar energy to filter brackish water for use on crops, growing 17,000 metric tons of food annually. The sun’s energy also powers, heats and cools the greenhouses as needed, reflected via a series of 23,000 mirrors. In contrast, a “conventional greenhouse uses groundwater for irrigation, gas for heating, and electricity for cooling.”
The “plants are grown hydroponically, which is the technical way of saying we don’t use soil. Our plants flourish on nutrient-rich coconut husks instead.” Additional climate and irrigation controls allow the farm to maximize outputs with minimized inputs.
The desert location as well as natural control strategies allow Sundrop to accomplish their goals without harmful, expensive or polluting inputs as well. “Unlike traditional agriculture we use no …