Are Underwater Herb Gardens The Future? [Video]

If sea levels keep rising, where will we grow our food? Researchers in Italy are exploring one option: Underwater gardens.

Nemo’s Garden in Noli, Italy is an agricultural project that’s attempting to grow herbs and other lettuce greens in a place where no one thought you could: underwater, in the middle of the ocean.

under water herb garden dome
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They believe that traditional, large-scale agriculture is overusing the resources of our planet, and sooner or later we’re going to need to turn to alternative means of growing our food.

Co-creator Luca Gamberini says 50-60 plant species are growing in the underwater gardens, including basil, different salad greens, soy sprouts, and medicinal herbs.

herbs growing underwater
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Gamberini says the most difficult part about this project is that it’s never been done before, so the learning curve was pretty steep. However, the advantages of having plants in such a controlled environment make up for the difficulties. They don’t have to worry about adverse weather conditions, bugs or pests, or a major flux in the greenhouse’ temperature.

underwater herb garden from bellow
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The plants are harvested the same way they would be on land. They’re cut, placed in a water-proof, reusable, sealed plastic container, and are brought back onshore to be enjoyed.

Gamberini is very aware of climate change and says the whole purpose behind Nemo’s Garden is to expand the possibilities of agriculture in order to better utilize our earth’s resources in a respectful, balanced way.

nemo's garden under water
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The co-founders of Nemo’s Garden say the concept of growing plants underwater seemed so simple to them, considering that our planet is made up of 70% water. And who knows, maybe it is the future of gardening after all.

Written by Leigha Staffenhagen

Leigha Staffenhagen is our managing editor. When she isn’t writing and editing for Insteading, she’s reading, going to Mariners games, practicing yoga, tap dancing, weeding in her grandma's garden beds, and attempting to grow her own apartment garden.

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