Greenhouses could one day be used to grow crops on the Moon or Mars. Until that moment arrives, humans can practice a little with industrial scale greenhouses that enable growing of crops in otherwise hostile environments on Earth, be it the Australian desert or the cold land climate of Kazakhstan.
BRBAPK-Kazakhstan already produced in green houses in the summer, now they can grow vegetables in the very cold winter as well and deliver the produce to their northern Siberian neighbors. The 4000 MW coal-fired power plant probably isn’t a neighbor by accident, providing the power, required to produce light and heat in the winter. The company currently has 20 hectares and aims to grow to 100 hectares in 2025.
The great advantage of greenhouses is that crops can be grown all year around. And of growing importance in the light of climate change is that you need far less water, as most water is kept inside and only leaves the greenhouse as marketable produce. Vegetables inside a greenhouse are largely exempt from the Darwinian struggle for survival, like they would have to endure outside, have little to fear from insects, snails, birds and other predators. On top of that greenhouses can be air-fertilized with industrial CO2, speeding up growth. As a consequence growth of plants can best be described as lush.
The Netherlands could face a third drought year in succession. Expanding its already huge greenhouse base (ca. 0.25% of Dutch territory) could provide the answer.
[hoogendoorn.nl] – Kazakh greenhouse works with Dutch knowledge and technology
[deepresource] – Growing Crops in the Australian Desert with Seawater
[Google Maps] – Location green house Kazakhstan
[wikipedia.org] – Greenhouse
[space.com] – Greenhouse Could Grow Food on Moon
[designboom.com] – NASA designs inflatable greenhouse for farming on mars