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Successful trial planting of Polar vegetables in Germany using LED Lighting

Oct 10, 2018

Polar winters have a long period of isolation, and the sea ice is too thick to reach the camp. In the past, camp residents had to rely on storage of vegetables and food, and it was impossible to eat fresh vegetables.

In early February, the DLR Arctic scientific camp used boatloads of plant containers, mats and nutrients to plant tomatoes in container heaters. Outside minus 42 ℃, but in 10 cm thick container placed in plant containers, tomatoes are stubbornly growing. As there was little sunlight, the researchers used LED lights to illuminate.

Project manager Robert Schubert said tomatoes grown in plant containers are small but contain more vitamins than refrigerated vegetables, which are fresh and enjoyable for salad eaters. Moreover, polar vegetables do not require pesticides.

Schubert believes the project could also be an example for future agriculture. More and more vegetable production around the world will be transformed into vertical farms that can optimize the ecological footprint of cities, such as fertilizing vegetables with wastewater from wastewater treatment plants or sending carbon-containing waste gas to greenhouse vegetable greenhouses.

DLR is working with Morocco and Egypt to test growing vegetables in the desert. They put containers in remote villages, using solar energy to sprinkle vegetables in containers with minimal water requirements. The project has been supported by the German Federal Department of Teaching and Research.

Associated with this project is the exploration of human survival on Mars, the future flight to Mars, whether on the way or after arriving at Mars, during which time they must grow their own fruits and vegetables.

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