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Biohackers Mexico Urbanites Experiment with LED-Lit Indoor Farming

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July 4, 2016

TechKnow - The farmers growing vegetables with LED lights (Al Jazeera English)

Mexico City resident Leonardo Moreno grows his own vegetables, but not in a rooftop garden warmed by sunlight, as one might imagine, nor in small pots arranged on a kitchen windowsill.

Moreno uses LED lights to grow spinach, lettuce and other leafy greens in small fish tanks inside his apartment.

"The idea is not to shut ourselves off (to possibilities) and find alternatives to (traditional) food production," Moreno told Xinhua.

A member of Biohackers Mexico, which brings together people interested in biotechnology, Moreno presented his experiment in small-scale indoor urban farming at Campus Party, a five-day technology fair taking place until Sunday in Guadalajara, the capital of western Jalisco state.

Creating your own mini hydroponic garden "is just one more option that I'm presenting (to show) solutions are possible to future problems," he said.

"The creation of smart crops at home represents an alternative for people (in cities). It's a more practical system that offers savings and at the same time allows us to eat healthier and fresher foods," Moreno told participants at the fair.

Some 60 percent of commercial hydroponic gardens in Mexico fail for a variety of reasons, said Moreno, including insufficient knowledge about how the system works, poorly trained personnel, or market reasons.

"We need to strengthen the culture of producing crops in hydroponic greenhouses and in training technicians, because a well-advised greenhouse only has a 2 percent chance of failing," said Moreno.

Read the rest at Xinhua

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