Nemo’s Garden, the first underwater vegetable garden in the world
In Italymore precisely a Freight rates (Liguria), you will find the first underwater garden in the world: the Nemo’s Garden. It is a prestigious underwater hydroponics project that allows you to cultivate even “at the bottom of the sea”. Let’s find out all the details of this Italian wonder together.
The first underwater garden in the world is located in Liguria: here is Nemo’s Garden
In the summer of 2012, Sergio Gamberinifounder of the diving equipment company Ocean Reef Group, was enjoying a beach vacation on the Italian Riviera. In between dives, he enjoyed strolling along the seashore with his friends. One day, between one speech and another, the conversation turned towards his other passion: the gardening.
Would it be possible, he wondered, create the perfect growing conditions for basil, the most popular local herb and an essential ingredient for pesto? Like most herbs, basil prefers protected places And sunny with well-drained soils it’s a constant and stable temperature.
Observing the sea carefully, Gamberini was struck by an unusual idea: why not try growing basil underwater? As bizarre as it might sound, the idea made perfect sense to a scuba enthusiast and innovation-minded entrepreneur.
All this would in fact allow Mr. Gamberini to combine two of his passions: the scuba diving and the gardening. After a couple of phone calls and the help of her Ocean Reef Group team, she started experimenting, putting transparent biospheres 6 meters below the sea surface And filling them with air. And that’s how the Nemo’s Garden project.
Over time, after realizing that this idea worked, Gamberini’s project turned into something more ambitious. The main goal is to create an alternative system of agricultureespecially dedicated to those areas where environmental, economic or morphological conditions make plant growth extremely difficult.
In fact, Nemo’s Garden aims to create a system that uses the natural resources already availableor the oceans.
The agricultural challenges of the world’s first underwater garden
In the developed world, industrial agriculture based on large-scale monoculture it has become the dominant system of modern agriculture, although there is a growing one support for sustainable agriculture. Modern agronomy, plant breeding, agrochemicals such as pesticides, fertilizers and technological improvements have greatly increased crop yields.
At the same time, however, they caused widespread ecological damage and negative effects on human health.
Industry and urban areas are exercising one growing pressure on water resourceswhich means that the water scarcity is increasing is that agriculture is facing a tough challengei.e. producing more food for the growing world population with reduced water resources.
Even more, the climate change it has the potential to influence agriculture through changes in temperature, precipitation (timing and quantity), solar radiation and the interaction of these elements. Agriculture is among the sectors most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change: water supply, for example, will be crucial for support agricultural production and provide increased food production necessary to support the growing world population.
On underwater agriculture
The system of underwater agriculture could overlap with the pesticide problem: the closed ecosystem created within the biosphere is well preserved from the attack of parasites. Don’t use pesticides means have an ecological environment in close contact with sea waterthus avoiding any disturbance of the marine ecosystem.
Further investigation will be directed to the possibility of produce fertilizer from algae which are located directly in the sea where the underwater garden will be installed. This way you would get one complete sustainability in the life cycle of growing plants, reusing sea products as feed.
Improvements in water management for agriculture are one of the key themes of the Nemo’s Garden project. Indeed, thanks to the temperature difference between the air inside the biosphere and the sea water around the structure, the water at the bottom of the biosphere evaporates and condenses easily on internal surfaces.
Because the garden needs one external water source just for the start of plant growth, the Nemo’s Garden system could be useful for those places far from available water bodies (i.e. seas, lakes, aquifers, etc.).
Any product that is difficult to grow in harsh environments would benefit from the alternative farming system proposed in the Nemo’s Garden project. However, the limits of what can be grown are yet to be defined. Further research will be undertaken to understand the types of plants suitable for underwater agriculture.
How does the garden work?
Gamberini’s ambitious project is characterized by biospheres in semi-transparent vinyl material that allow filtering of the sun’s rays. In practice they are domes of about 2 meters in diameter with 800 liters of air located about 6 meters below sea level and on the seabed.
Each dome can accommodate one on the shelves maximum of 100 plants which are grown according to a hydroponic system. Comparative crops in coconut fiber substrate are also present. Within this place the microclimate suitable for cultivationconstantly monitored through an audio and video system. It is in fact possible to follow some live streaming on the official YouTube site and admire this marvel.
The whole system is also powered by solar panels And wind turbines which ensure the energy required for the control instrumentation. There are many products grown over the years in Nemo’s Garden. Among them we find basil green, red basil, different types of salads but also tomatoes, courgettes, beans, green peas and various herbs.
The project is ambitious and still experimental: nevertheless he is ready to offer a great deal to the world. It is in fact a perfect system for those regions of the world where it is difficult or almost impossible to cultivate due to a lack of land or fresh water.
Nemo’s Garden, il first underwater garden in the worldhas also made itself known thanks to Expo Milan. Furthermore, over the years, the structure has become the home of numerous research projects and collaborations with universities and companies. In fact, a partnership with Siemes was recently born to study and develop a technology capable of making this place even more sustainable.
For more information, you can consult the official site of Nemo’s Garden.