Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Growing Vegetables In the Cloud

Artists rendering of the new Nikkei vegetable growing system from Panasonic.(Image via TechCrunch)

It seems that lately food trends have been moving in the low-tech direction. Slow food, local, organic, grass-fed, heritage, biodynamic - all sorts of words describing us basically getting back to our roots with regards to growing produce and farming animals. Mostly I'm inclined to think this is a good thing. There is all sorts of evidence to show that many aspects of the modern industrial-agricultural complex are harming our environment and hurting our bodies. However, we can't go back to the way we farmed food 100 years ago without creating a shortage of food for our current ever-increasing population. What's the fix?

One way could be to blend modern technology with old farming practices. For example, growing organic heritage greens in a high-tech rooftop garden. I discovered one company, Gotham Greens, doing something similar. This company is growing local vegetables and herbs for restaurants and consumers in Brooklyn, New York City, in a high-tech hydroponic rooftop garden set up in an abandoned bowling alley. Also recently, Panasonic introduced a new product for people who desire to grow vegetables, indoors or our, at home with a super high-tech system that allows users to monitor vegetable growth and manage the garden using a cloud-based computing system. Right now the system is prohibitively expensive for most people at around $8000, but if there is enough demand for this type of technology, every home could soon have its own high-tech victory garden, helping the effort in the war on carbon-footprints and fossil fuel dependence.

No comments:

Post a Comment