“Atmospheric physicist Carl Hodges founded the Seawater Foundation in 1977 in an attempt to alleviate some of the world’s most complex ecological problems. Hodges’ unique approach draws seawater inland, irrigating otherwise barren coastal desert regions and turning them green.
“The results are spectacular, with seawater-tolerant plants (including the biofuel crop salicornia) providing a new home for wildlife as well as creating food, jobs and prosperity for previously poverty-stricken areas. …
Just that there are plants that can grow in saltwater and make vegetable oil. I think there is only a slight chance that it could be interesting to try on a seastead. Mostly it was just interesting that people were farming with saltwater at all.
Farming on the seastead would be extremely valuable, if it can be perfected. I found the reference to Salicornia plant to be very exciting. Biofuels could be a major cash crop for a seastead. But where do you get the ‘space’ on seastead for growing a crop like this, or even for other food crops?
I don’t have the answer to this (yet), but what is clearly needed is a structure that can survive storms, or at least be moved out of the way of storms, that is very low cost and can provide a large amount of surface area for growing of crops. What I’m thinking are large inflatable greenhouses.
Have you seen pictures of the navy’s hovercraft? They are very large and can operate on land or sea. They use a very durable thick plastic/composite and inflate it. So, could you make a huge floating structure out of inflated plastics/composites? These platforms could be made very large and should take the elements well. The sides would be very high to protect the contents inside, but the bottom need only be thick enough to provide the necessary floatation. They can be towed to avoid storms. I have no idea if the construction would be cost effective, but it would likely be suitable for the growing plants, as I don’t think plants are bothered by wave motion. Pollination issues would still have to be addressed. you might also be able to raise animals inside, such as chickens.
And yes, i am worried about how it would handle rough seas, but I suspect there are ways to keep plants upright and firmly rooted.
If you want to produce biofuel, growing algae could be an option.
If you want to grow food, concentrate on fish instead of crops. A common method is to use cone shaped nets (apex at the bottom) wherein fish populations grow and grow (food for them is provided) and finally end up in supermarkets.
If you can combine growing algae with feeding it to your fish, it could make you rich.
Your points are well taken. But I would want fresh fruits and vegetables and these would be expensive to import. And I’m vegetarian
On biofuel, from all that I have read, you really need a sealed environment for algae growth or natural varieties will take over that don’t produce the needed oil. I’m still very interested in algae, but it does have it’s limitations.
You may get what you want, but will you want what you get?
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