Published on April 24th, 2014 | by Derek Markham0
One answer to food deserts might be this innovative greenhouse system
A group of environmentally conscious entrepreneurs wants to bring fresh, local, organic food to backyards and communities around the world, and they’re doing it with a specially designed greenhouse system described as a “self-contained, year-round, all-natural grocery store.”
The lifePOD system is a moveable greenhouse structure with a full array of complementary growing technologies that allows for hydroponic, aquaponic, and aeroponic growing, and can be used year-round to produce local food in quantities to feed many people, especially those in food deserts, where access to healthy and affordable fresh food is not easy to come by.
The system, which can be built to measure anywhere from 150 to 200 square feet, features a number of innovations that can make growing your own food more sustainable, and create a fresh food oasis literally anywhere. In order to get the first lifePOD built and running near Montréal, a crowdfunding campaign is looking to raise about $20,000 for materials, skilled labor, and other supplies. A plot of land has already been donated to the project, which will help feed the community of Notre-Dame-de-L’Île-Perrot and allow for further documentation of the process of building and running the greenhouse in order to guide others in building more of these structures.
The lifePOD is a specially designed greenhouse system that allows families and communities to grow fresh food in any climate at any time of the year. It is built on a moveable structure, and uses both vertical and horizontal space to maximize food production. It features insulated walls, floor, and overhangs, as well as tanks with plumbing, electrical, and control systems.
The lifePOD has hydroponic, aeroponic, and aquaponic growing systems, and an anaerobic digester component. The lifePOD can house organically-raised fish (aquaculture), provide roots and tubers (aeroponics), leafy greens and fruit-bearing plants (organic farming), and even edible mushrooms (mycology), all under one roof. In addition, the aquaponics tanks can also be emptied, allowing the structure to be transportable.
The design of the structure is based on the SolaRoof concept, created by Richard Nelson (who is also a mentor for this project), and is an integral part of the strategy for ‘closing the hunger gap‘, as outlined by PODWorks Global.