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Farming without sunlight
Farming without sunlight is the practice of cultivating food with artificial light (instead of solar irradiation), or alternatively without any light at all. It is done underground, or in a location above ground (for example in windowless rooms in buildings or using stealth grow boxes. It is usually done using hydroponics, aeroponics or air-dynaponics systems or container gardens. The artificial light is generally provided by means of grow lamps or daylighting systems (as light tubes). Sometimes, special modifications are done to improve the system even more. These can include water-jacketed lighting system, a grow tent, NFT double pass growing system with moveable racks.
Farming systems that do not use sunlight are still very uncommon. This is primarily due to the high cost involved. As such, they are currently only popularly used for the cultivation of cash crops such as Cannabis and for cultivating food in very harsh environments (on the poles, inside). Another popular use is for growing mushrooms, as underground cavities retain a lot of humidity (which mushrooms require) and as the mushrooms don't need any sunlight at all (they don't photosynthesize). However, they can also be of great value to people who wish to grow their own food, yet do not have aduquate space for this (for example, people living in appartments). As underground farming systems become more cost effective, it can thus be expected that more people will make use of them.
- The Lunar greenhouse is an underground farm made by Phil Sadles and Gene Giacomelli of the University of Arizona's Controlled Environment Agriculture Center (CEAC) The urine and exhaled air of the astronauts is reused in the system by the plants.
- The Hungry Planet Farms "Flash Farm" is a vertical farm set up in shipping container. It was designed by Brittany Ferguson. This approach allows to transport entire farms to developing countries and or might also prove suitable for food production on vehicles (ie ships, ...)
- Farming without sunlight
- Best Stealth Grow Boxes
- Underground farming lighting system using LEDs
- Underground lighting
- Special features of the South Pole Growth Chamber
- Lunar greenhouse
- Kijk magazine, editie 13, 2010
- Reuse of urine and exhaled air
- Hungry Planet Farms project idea submitted at http://startsomethingthatmatters.maker.good.is/projects/HungryPlanetFarms?sort=941