Picking vegetables? On the water? On the Hudson River?


That might sound like a strange idea, but it is possible! The Science Barge is a floating farm museum, currently docked in Yonkers, NY, that aims to bring awareness about urban farming. They claim to grow tomatoes, lettuce, and cucumbers with zero carbon emissions, zero pesticides, and zero runoff. Thousands of schoolchildren, adults, and press people have visited the barge since it opened in 2007.

They use hydroponics to grow their vegetables, which is also a large component of vertical farming. When I spoke to Dickson Despommier, he implied that large scale urban or indoor farming is not possible without hydroponic technology. Considering the lack of space or soil in New York City, I tend to agree with him, though I am not an expert on hydroponics.

The barge presents an interesting way to get the public interested in urban farming. Though it is just a museum, it is a great step in the right direction to getting people to think about getting their food through low-impact methods. If hydroponic farming could be done on a larger scale, either through more barges or vertical farming, the barge has the important role of easing this idea into the public eye. Education is key!

For more pictures of the Science Barge, check out this New York Times slideshow or Flickr slideshow.

(On a side note, a friend recently gave me a copy of the book The Lorax signed by Dickson Despommier as a graduation gift!)

Image credit: NYSunworks.org


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