A Dutch company -PlantLab – has come up with a method for
growing indoors, using a purple/pink light, made of red and blue
The significance of the new method is that it
could mean the ability to grow crop with 90% less water than is
The need to manage water supplies is most
pressing in the Middle East and in Africa, areas that are
already being challenged by water shortages now.
has invented a way to grow plants under LED lights indoors, with
all the water recycled within the indoor environment for reuse.
Plants, it turns out, are not that dependent on using the sun
for photosynthesis. And they certainly don’t mind being
separated from their pests. And they are fine with 90 percent
less water, if they get it over and over again.
PlantLab have also found a way to reduce crop dependency on
They have engineered the crops to be able to be
grown using fewer fertilizers – which are made from
Secondly, the technology can be replicated
anywhere in the world, drastically reducing the need for
transportation of food around the globe.
crops can even be grown easily in cities, in high rise style
But PlantLab believes we must rethink food
production to survive.
“In order to keep a planet that’s
worth living on, we have to change our methods,” says PlantLab’
s Gertjan Meeuws.
The methods PlantLab is suggesting are
revolutionary. They use LED lamps to grow the plants and water
them with a slow trickle that drains through the soil and is
collected and reused. The neon pink light of the lamps make the
space look more like a nightclub than an indoor farm.
Computers capture over 160,000 reports per second to determine
the exact amount, cycle, and color spectrum of light that’s
optimal for the plant, as well as water, so that no resource is
wasted and the plant is neither undernourished nor
Plants convert light from the sun into energy
through the process of photosynthesis, but plants only need some
parts of the sun’s color spectrum. Blue and red LEDs can
provide just the light a plant needs, making the process more
efficient and growing a stronger, healthier plant.
methods of growing also reduce unpredictability. They are not so
much at the mercy of the elements and extreme weather
conditions. They reduce the danger of both shortages and of
waste, and also help to make prices more stable.