Eco Tech: Camarillo’s greenhouses could be the future of sustainable farming
Eco Factor: Energy-neutral greenhouses produce 20 times more fruit per acre than conventional farms.
With the land available for farming being used to develop modern residential and commercial complexes, environmentalists around the world are worried about the future, where the lack of land might leave millions hungry. Like always, scientists have tried to find an answer to this growing threat in the latest in technology.
Houweling Nurseries, a Canadian farming company, has developed hi-tech greenhouse facilities which generate renewable electricity, harvest rain and runoff water and above all produce 20 times more fruit than conventional farms.
The $50 million complex is a completely self-dependent ecosystem in which nothing is wasted. The facility has five acres of photovoltaic solar cells to supply it with 2.1MW of electricity, which is used to run water pumps and climate control systems. Thermal systems collect solar heat and warehouse refrigeration exhaust to warm the greenhouse on cold evenings. Workers of the facility have dug a four-acre pond that collects rainwater which is then filtered and re-circulated back to the facility for irrigation.
Plants in this greenhouse are fed through tubing and crops are grown without the use of any herbicides and almost no pesticides. Since there is no dust or germs inside the facility, fertilizer use is also limited. The 20-acre facility has 450 workers who are constantly keeping an eye on all the critical systems and ensure that the production is the best.