In the comments section of any post about exploring space you can find those who question why those resources aren’t used to feed the hungry, or combat other issues here on Earth. While, we certainly have a lot of issues on our planet to deal with, what many fail to understand is that many of the technologies that get developed for space exploration can have benefits closer to home.
Among those are radical ideas on how to grow food, ideas that likely wouldn’t have been considered, or refined to the same degree, without the effort to make them work within the strictly limited resources of a space mission.
EDEN ISS is a program that has been fine tuning techniques to grow plants without soil or traditional light sources. While these concepts aren’t completely new, they have advanced these ideas with the idea of growing food on the space station, the moon, or future manned missions to Mars.
The root systems are contained in pockets of air, and the plants are sprayed with the nutrients they need to grow. They grow them using LED lighting systems that can be tailored to each plant type for optimum growth and yield no matter the local environment.
This is exactly the kind of research that can be adapted to off grid living to help supplement other food sources without taking up a lot of space, or having to worry about climate or soil conditions you find yourself having to deal with for a traditional garden.
As with other types of aeroponic, hydroponic, or aquaponic systems, grow times are shorter and yields can often exceed that of a more traditional garden.