The farmers growing vegetables with LED lights
We visit indoor farms using artificial light to boost produce and an airport using its open space to build bee colonies.
28 Nov 2015
(Must see. Mike)
Green Sense Farms runs its vertical farm from a 2,800 square metre warehouse just outside Chicago. The farm is bathed in a pink glow – the effect of the thousands of red and blue LEDs – light-emitting diodes – which enable the plants to photosynthesise.
“We take weather out of the equation,” explains Robert Colangelo, founder of Green Sense Farms. “We’ve created groundhog day here. Each day is consistent and it’s the same, so we always get perfect plants every day.”
Farming in a controlled environment means the plants grow within a certain time using 98 percent less water. At Green Sense Farms it takes about 42 days to grow a head of lettuce, which is from 3 to 17 days faster than it would take if grown in a field. Now, Green Sense is figuring out different red and blue light combinations to optimise growing other plants, such as chives or basil.
We also visit FarmedHere, another indoor farm, which uses an aquaponics growing system: waste from tilapia, a freshwater fish kept in tanks, is broken down by natural bacteria into nitrates, which is then cycled to the leafy greens grown there as fertiliser.