With an increase in extreme weather events such as drought, food security is an ever-increasing issue for many around the world and particularly for those in Australia. Sustainable inner-city farms are trending with organisations like Pocket City Farms and Urban Growers. But have you heard of Modular farms?
Modular farms are essentially a purpose built metal box similar to a shipping container. The system has special temperature control systems and a filter that controls the air whilst nutrients are added through the watering system. As far as photosynthesis for the growth of the plants, carbon dioxide is added to the controlled environment and LED ultraviolet lights replicate the sun.
To get an idea of scale and production, a 36 square metre modular farm can produce around 800 lettuce per week and with the use of recycled water this only uses as little as 100 litres of freshwater per week.
For decades now, many have been highly concerned with the level of pesticides used in traditional farming, however with this controlled and closed environment the need for these pesticides is eliminated.
This isn’t the only project of this type. The University of Western Sydney has also developed a controlled environment farming system. This system is a bit more traditional in the sense that it follows a similar basis of a glasshouse. However, unlike a traditional glasshouse this system, much like Modular Farms harnesses the ability to control other elements whilst removing the need for pesticides, allowing for higher quality produce to be grown out of season and with a higher resilience to a changing climate.
Now for those concerned with the possible impending shortages of our much loved smashed avo The University of Queensland has developed a similar system that relies on a controlled environment to ramp up the production of avocado trees significantly.
With low water and land usage, high production and capacity to function in the centre of our cities removing the issues around transport. Modular farms alongside these other innovations could be the part of the solution to sustainably feeding future populations of the world.
Photos Courtesy of Modular Farms Co. Australia website- here