Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Pot-Filled Fantasies of Farming

Treehugger has a post on "sunless farming" (not vertical):
The idea is to figure out how to grow crops in these regulated indoor places so that anyone can grow crops anywhere -- from buildings placed next to supermarkets and malls, to high-rises with a spare floor to rent, and so on. The researchers believe that any space of 1,075 square feet set up with the right equipment and layers of plants could provide a fresh diet of produce to 140,000 people.
Amazingly, some people actually take this seriously.  Maybe they're smoking pot, which by the way is the major crop which is already being grown under lights.  This Freakonomics post links to research on the energy demands and carbon dioxide impact of our current marijuana industry. Two paragraphs:
California, the mecca of medical marijuana, is by far the worst offender. There, the indoor pot industry is responsible for about 3 percent of the entire state’s electricity use, or about 8 percent of all household use.

Some of the biggest growing facilities have a carbon footprint on par with many industrial medical and technology operations. According to Mills, a typical indoor marijuana growing facility has “lighting as intense as that found in an operating room (500-times more than needed for reading), 6-times the air-change rate of a bio-tech laboratory and 60-times that of a home, and the electric power intensity of a data center.”

1 comment:

Josh said...

I do all my indoor growing of my veggies and herbs and spices using LED grow lights which reduces electricity use and keeps indoor cooling costs down as well. I get great results.