In Nemo’s Garden, located off the coast of Noli, Italy, balloon-shaped biospheres anchored to the sea bottom take the place of crop rows.
This alternative ecosystem began four years ago as an experiment by Sergio Gamberini, president of the Ocean Reef Group, a diving equipment manufacturer. Right from the start, the submerged structures have produced healthy crops of basil, lettuce, zucchini, and beans that have been growing like, well, weeds.
Turns out, the undersea world is a pretty good place to grow plants, with temperatures that remain constant, keeping things inside warm and humid. The transparent “greenhouses” let sunlight in and promote evaporation, so watering happens automatically. In fact, according to Gamberini, the plants are growing faster underwater than above water due to higher levels of carbon dioxide.
“Every day we discover something new,” he says. “My dream is to make something that is sustainable.” Plans are in the works to offer aquarium-size biospheres to the general public. To get yours, go to nemosgarden.com.
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