A novel concept farm in the desert of South Australia is now producing 15,000 tonnes of tomatoes a year. And best of all, it does all of this with only sunlight and seawater.
Writing in New Scientist, Alice Klein explains how the futuristic greenhouses need no pesticides, fossil fuels, soil, or groundwater, and are entirely self-sufficient. Seawater is desalinated using solar power for watering the plants, and inside the greenhouses seawater-soaked cardboard lining keeps the environment nice and cool. During winter, solar power warms the greenhouses.
With a burgeoning human population, shifts in rainfall driven by climate change, and increasing demands on freshwater, this is exactly the sort of novel technology that could support future farming.