This desert farm grows crops with only seawater and sunlight
To successfully grow crops in a traditional manner, one needs access to fertile soil and plenty of fresh water.
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In areas that do not have access to either of these resources, farming efforts are scarce and rarely lucrative.
That being said, an innovative desert farm called Sundrop Farms has been able to grow and harvest food using nothing but seawater and sunlight.
Every year, the desert farm produces 17,000 tons of tomatoes – this alone accounts for 15% of Australia’s annual produce supply.
The farm, which is located near Port Augusta, an arid area in the Southern part of Australia, does not require fertile soil to grow plants. Instead, it relies upon a solar powered water desalination and irrigation system.
On the desert farm, there is a tall solar tower that has 23,000 mirrors pointing in its direction. The energy produced from this solar unit is used to power the farm’s desalination plant. In the desalination plant, salt is removed from seawater to make it suitable for use in crop irrigation.
The desalination plant, powered on solar alone, can process an impressive 1,000,000 liters of water in a day.
This process is extremely innovative, as it allows the company to grow and harvest crops in an area that does not support crop growth.
By employing this technology, the company can produce food products without over-exploiting Earth’s scarce natural resources.
This technology can also be useful in developing countries whose environments are not suitable for agriculture. If farmers no longer need fertile soil, many more regions become suitable candidates for a similar farm.