Sahara Forest Project to grow vegetables in the desert (SmartPlanet)


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Saltwater-cooled greenhouse grows crops in the Sahara

How do you grow vegetables in arid areas? Reverse the trend of desertification, the Sahara Forest Project proposes.

The project combines existing technologies — such as the evaporation of saltwater to create fresh water along with solar thermal energy tech — to utilize what we have (saltwater, CO2) to produce what we need (food, fresh water and energy).

This week, the project, which is supported by fertilizer companies, reached a milestone. Its Qatar pilot plant produced 75 kilograms of crops (like cucumbers) per square meter annually while consuming only sunlight and seawater, Science reports. That’s comparable to commercial farms in Europe.

At the center of the project is a saltwater-cooled greenhouse, Science explains:

At one end, salt water is trickled over a gridlike curtain so that the prevailing wind blows the resulting cool, moist air over the…

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