Floating Farm: River-Based Greenhouse is a Model of Self-Sufficiency

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A single jellyfish-inspired floating modular greenhouse can provide enough food for two families, or join together with additional modular platforms to create a ‘stronger organism.’ Italian architecture firm StudioMobile created Jellyfish Barge as a floating farm that requires no land, fresh water or energy from conventional sources. Plus, it’s made using low-cost and recycled materials.

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“The World Bank predicts that the world population will grow to almost 10 billion in the next four decades,” the designers explain. “By 2050, the global demand for food is expected to be 60-60% higher than today. Scarcity of water and cultivable land are the main obstacles to meet the quantitative and qualitative shifts of the world’s demand. Agriculture is the human activity that relies most on the existing water resources.”

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“The scarcity of arable land and fresh water for agriculture is being exacerbated by changes in climate, exposing many areas to increased risks and contribute to make them even more vulnerable to the problem of water and food security… tackling these challenges in a holistic way can produce considerable improvement in water and food security of coastal communities.”

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The Jellyfish Barge can purify salt, brackish or polluted water. Solar stills arranged along the edges of the structure harvest up to 150 liters of fresh water per day, and the plants are grown using a simple hydroponic system. Built on a wooden base that floats on recycled plastic drums, the barge supports a glass greenhouse capable of growing almost any kind of vegetables.