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It's harvest time! Yukon's 1st off-grid, no-dirt, hydroponics farming unit produces crops Social Sharing

Reference: CBC News

The Kluane Lake Research Station located between Haines Junction and Destruction Bay is known for it's studies on climate change and the impacts it has on wildlife and the ecosystem.

Now, they're taking a look at food sustainability in the North.

It's been months of work but their off-grid hydroponic containerized farming unit is now producing leafy greens and herbs.

The first harvest of crops comes after only six weeks of planting the first round of seeds.

Brittany Weber is the agricultural operations coordinator for the research station.

And she's responsible for taking care of the crops.

"We grow plants without the use of dirt," she explained.

"Instead we use this nutrient-rich water solution. Using pumps and gravity, we wash the water over the roots of the plants and that provides them with everything they need.

Weber says because the system is containerized it is a controlled environment so pesticides and herbicides aren't used.

Inside the container
The unit is eight by 40 feet and can hold up to 2,800 mature plants and 1,000 seedlings.

"We have six shelves going all the way from the floor to the ceiling," said Weber during the tour of the unit.

Entering into the container is described as an optical illusion.

"The trays are actually sloped so you'll stand there and see the next tray in the back row and it'll be a foot off of the first tray but really that's the gravity so the water can flow naturally down these trays," Weber said.

The plants are arranged in a "cascading of age".

The front of the container holds the big greens while the back of the unit will have the newly planted seedlings.

"You'll be able to see the different life cycles of the plants," Weber said... Read More