Could Earth’s Food Problems Be Solved By Growing in Goo?

There are countless places on Earth where we have so far been unable to create farmland due to inhospitable conditions. Deserts, specifically, cover a large area of the planet but due to their lack of moisture, temperature extremes and difficult to cultivate sand they are basically the opposite of an ideal place to grow crops. But a conceptual project from industrial design students Ruud van Reijmersdal, Tom Slijkhuis, Joppe Spaans and Jeroen Rood proposes the use of nutritious gel to give plants everything they need to grow strong, healthy, and quickly in even the most unwelcoming of environments.

The gel would insulate the plants from temperature extremes while supplying every last thing they need to thrive. The gel is inexpensive enough that it could be used for mass food production just about anywhere for cost-effective farming – even on the moon. Because the plants are completely isolated and protected from their environment, they would have no problem growing in a low-gravity, cold, oxygen-free place. The Plant-Growing Jelly concept is everything that a great speculative project should be: just far-fetched enough to be revolutionary and just realistic enough to seem possible…one day.

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See more in Science Fiction or under Science. March, 2012.