Mar 18, 2014
Hydroponics + Icebergs = Fresh Produce in GreenlandBy Tim Hodson

Hydroponics and icebergs are not two words you hear together very often. But that could change in the future.

Arctic Harvester, one of the entries in the 2013 Jacques Rougerie Foundation International Architecture Competition has proposed the creation of a large-scale hydroponic growing operation that would float in the waters off of the coast of Greenland.

The facility also would house 800 people in a compact urban community inspired by vertically oriented, bayside Greenlandic villages.

The doughnut-shaped hydroponic farm would “harvest” melted fresh water from the icebergs to grow the crops. It would be powered using an osmotic power system that generates power from a mixture of saltwater and freshwater and solar panels that would take advantage of the region’s long summer days.

The produce grown in the Arctic Harvester could then be sold in Greenland helping to alleviate its dependence on other countries for freshly grown food.

The concept for the floating hydroponic farm and village was the brainchild of French architecture students Meriem Chabani, Etienne Chobaux, John Edom and Maeva Leneveu. The students are currently looking for funding to build a small prototype of the Arctic Harvester.

You can see a variety of images of the Arctic Harvester on the Fast Company website and on Meriem Chabani’s website.

Does your company have any large or small plans (probably not as large as the Arctic Harvester) to get in the hydroponics business? Drop me a line at [email protected] and let me know if hydroponics is in your future.

– Tim

Software Exec to Add Hydroponics and Aquaponics to Portfolio

Silicon Valley guru Larry Ellison, the co-founder and CEO of enterprise software company Oracle Corp., can soon add hydroponics and aquaponics to his already impressive resume. One of the companies Ellison owns recently announced plans to build four new greenhouses and a half an acre of bio-beds on the Hawaiian island of Lanai. The Pacific Business News reports facilities will house hydroponic and aquaponics sustainable systems to grow fresh produce and fish on the island. The facilities are scheduled to be up and running on the Pineapple Island later this summer.

Ranchers Find New Way to Grow Fresh Greens for Livestock

Ranchers looking for cost-effective ways to feed their livestock in drought-challenged areas are turning to hydroponics to grow fresh barley shoots. The barley shoots are used as a supplement to traditional hay and reportedly can be grown for 8-10 cents per pound compared to 16-18 cents per pound for hay. Using a self-contained hydroponic growing chamber from Fodder Solutions with specialized growing trays (with no growing medium) that are watered at pre-determined intervals with overhead sprays. When the trays begin to sprout, they are rotated to the next row of shelves, and then again to the final position where they are ready for the livestock to eat. The system reportedly uses approximately 3 percent of the water that is required for standard forage production says Fodder inventor Favio Raccanello.

WV Hydroponic Grower Steers Clear of Local Tap Water After Chemical Spill

Gritt’s Greenhouse in Putnam County, W.V, grows hydroponic tomatoes and other produce for schools and grocery stores in its region. So when crude 4-methylcyclohexanemethanol (MCHM) was released from a chemical processing facility into the Elk River, management at the company knew there would be questions about how it would grow its crops safely for human consumption. They wanted their customers to know the water used in their hydroponic operations was safe. Fortunately, the company filled its 10,000-gallon water tank the night before businesses received a do-not-use order that got them through part of the ordeal. And when that tank ran out of water, they were able to get refills from the Putnam Public Service District. Once the do-not-use order was lifted and the water was declared safe by government officials, the company hired a private testing firm to ensure the water was safe for its hydroponic operations.

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Tim Hodson

Tim Hodson is the editorial director of GPN and Big Grower. He can be reached at [email protected]

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