Who needs soil when you can grow crops on film? Japan's Mebiol is growing a Garden of Eden of sorts on its thin hydro-membranes, which are only microns thick.
As the vid below shows, the firm's Integrated Membrane Culture, or IMEC (PDF), is a technology for farming using a substrate that's made from hydrogels. No soil is needed, as the plants absorb water and nutrients from the film.
The greens can grow considerably if liquid nutrients are given to them from above and below, through the film, according to Yuichi Mori of Mebiol and Waseda University.
The film looks like regular plastic wrap but is full of nano-size holes. It prevents bacteria and viruses from harming the plants, so chemicals aren't needed.
An impermeable ground film prevents any soil contaminants from reaching the plants, so it can be used anywhere. Mori and collaborators even grew tomatoes in the desert of Dubai using the films. … Read more