In a severely space constrained country like Japan, the appeal of the vertical growing arrangement is understandable. The yield per square meter of footprint is certainly many times that of traditional soil farming. Valcent Products, a company that’s developing vertical crop systems, claims a 20X increase in yield over field production. I don’t read Japanese, so I have no idea what the details are on Ozu Corporation’s technology and processes.
Micronutrients??? Maybe there is some kind industrial micronutrient soup that they mix in with the water. They could use sea water for micronutrients, but, because of pollution, doing so would probably ruin the branding strategy for these clean vegetables.
I must admit, on the one hand, I’m having difficulty maintaining a straight face as I’m writing about this—how effing nuts is this???—but on the other hand… I’m morbidly fascinated. For example, where do the seeds come from? How much electricity do these factories use per day? Are robots used?
Ninjas? Just tell me that ninjas guard the vegetable factories and I’ll be happy.
I’ll stick with dirty old dirt, thanks, and shit, fish guts and rotted plant matter in our garden, but it’s interesting to see where technophelia and the Myth of the Machine are headed.
Apologies for the Daily Mail link, but the pictures are MUST SEE.
Via: Daily Mail:
They look more like the brightly lit shelves of a chemists shop than the rows of a vegetable garden.
But according to their creators, these perfect looking vegetables could be the future of food.
In a perfectly controlled and totally sterile environment – uncontaminated by dirt, insects or fresh air – Japanese scientists are developing a new way of growing vegetables.
Called plant factories, these anonymous looking warehouses have sprung up across the country and can churn out immaculate looking lettuces and green leaves 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Every part of the plant’s environment is controlled – from the lighting and temperature, to the humidity and water. Even the levels of carbon dioxide can be minutely altered.
Rather than the conventional scruffy clothes and dirty fingernails of vegetable growers, the producers wear gloves, surgical masks and sort of dust proof protective suits normally seen in chemical plants.
The vegetables from plant factories – which include green leaf, romaine lettuce and garland chrysanthemum – are sold at a premium to Japanese shoppers. No pesticides are used – and there is no risk of contamination with food poisoning bugs.
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