Monday, June 01, 2009
Growing produce and protein in an urban setting
Many people are aware these days of how far their food travels, becoming less fresh and using up petroleum to get to their table. The Suncurve is a demonstration project growing produce and protein in a very small footprint. It could be integrated into the side of a multi-tenant residence in an urban center, providing fresh greens and berries and even legumes year-round in many parts of the United States.
Renewable solar and wind energy powers a pump to circulate water through the 1" thick biomat, bringing fishwastes to the roots of the plants. Some organic matter falls from the vertical bed into the fish pond, feeding the fish. A more robust system could even be imagined, processing human wastes back into food.
The engineer in me thrills at this system of massive intervention and resource allocation. The permaculturist in me recoils at the embodied energy this system represents. The urban permaculturist in me rejoices at how many "green" jobs this sort of infrastructure could create while leveraging our current relative abundance of resources into a system that ensures a steady supply of extremely local food for years and years.