you can go to any grocery store and buy a tomato, while they look nice, usually, you have no idea how long it has taken to get to that store from a field, storage, distribution, and enhancements to make the tomato look good on the shelf.
when you go out and pick a fresh vine ripe tomato. if it is a home garden, they usually aren’t all symmetrically pretty, but you are struck with the scent of the vine, the deep rich color, and when you eat one – you stop and go, “wow, that tastes amazing!”
I tell people that there is really no reason why one can’t grow their own leafy greens and spices year-round in their homes. you can do it with vine crops and some fruits as well, but it will require a wee bit of work, even with the current state of CEA and indoor farming technologies.
what amazes me is how few people don’t grow their food. there is a lot of talk and chatter about it, but few really go do it. it is much like I have come to realize the “maker” groups will probably always be a tiny set of folks inside a larger group that wants to talk about making things rather than actually making things. I guess talking is easier and more fun?
what one can do growing plants with controlled environments is really amazing versus the time it takes to do in nature. perhaps we have been conditioned with the idea of the four seasons, or you can’t grow food in a dessert or the arctic cold. but you can. I don’t see how CEA will ever take over or be able to support the hungry on the planet, but I do see where it can be an amazing tool to help feed many – barring some war, famine, pestilence, disease and or human stupidity in the coming advanced artificial intelligence/deep learning age of bots that destroys a large section of the planet.
until that day, and I pray it never happens. there is something to be said about the plants you grow in containers with dirt, (aka:supersoils) and natural sunlight. we can tweak and tune lights, temp, humidity, gas levels, nutrients…but what I have yet to be able to do is grow a tomato inside that comes close to the natural flavors when you get with the outdoor farm crop. it is why we kept the natural cycle of outdoor crops with the agrowspace model. albeit it is more like a controlled garden, you can’t beat the flavors and tastes of crops taken off the vine and used to cook the next meal. why do you think in France the morning chefs go out and bribe the vendors for the best they have. it is just that with nature, you can’t really predict as much or as well with plant maturation as you can with the CEA.
tonight I will grill some hamburgers. I asked some guests, “do you want some grilled onions, mushrooms, etc.?” and then I saw three tomatoes on the vine, perfectly ripe. “how about cheeseburgers with simple lettuce, pickle, and with these tomatoes…that should be an amazing taste and flavor
when you have this variety and quality of plant growing…you really don’t need to jazz anything up…simply enjoy the basic beauty of what once was a tiny seed a few weeks earlier, that with some love and care, grew into something you just can’t buy in most stores.
now I go work on how we can build this mobile lab…with growing plants that can travel with us. it really is so cool what you can do today…when I imagine tomorrow, I marvel at the possibilities.
then there is the reality of the human condition and history that makes me wonder, “will we really use all this for the good of the planet?”