San Diego Edition
Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Print this page Print Feed Feed

Astonishing Agriculture

Food Grows Without Soil or Groundwater

Roman Stetsyk/Shutterstock.com

Proponents of GMO (genetically modified) food may argue that the technique is necessary because the world is running out of resources. However, agricultural startup Sundrop Farms, with offices in the UK and Australia, has developed high-tech greenhouse facilities that apply solutions to grow crops with less reliance on finite natural resources than conventional greenhouse production.

In 2010, Sundrop Farms opened a pilot facility in Port Augusta, South Australia, that is combining seawater and sunlight to grow food in the middle of the desert, unaffected by climate change, biotech land grabs, drought, floods and pestilence. They are using coconut husks, 23,000 mirrors to reflect solar power and desalinated seawater on a hydroponic farm of just under 50 acres to grow 17,000 metric tons of non-GMO food every year.

Built at a reported cost of $200 million, the facility has a year-round growing season. In winter, its greenhouse operates with the help of 39 megawatts of clean energy from solar power. Coles Supermarkets has signed a 10-year contract for the exclusive right to sell the company’s produce.


This article appears in the July 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Rigged Research

French researchers have concluded that 40 percent of 579 GMO (genetically modified food) studies are tainted by conflicts of interest, such as a study author being employed by a company that profits from genetically engineered crops.

Beverage Battle

Bottled water has now surpassed carbonated soft drinks to become the largest beverage category by volume in the U.S.

Comments posted are subject to review and removal if they are not in line with publication guidelines. Opinions are those of the person posting them.

Add your comment: