The Omega Garden™ Farmdominium™/Vertical Farming is our answer to commercial and industrial-scale urban agriculture.
The Farmdominium™ is designed to be a fully automated system. Each rotating garden is a module that can be removed from the carousel if required. In turn each containerized carousel is a movable module in the larger system.
A Farmdominium™ can be either a permanent, or temporary installation. A temporary installation would be housed in an inflatable building, and a permanent installation could be in an inflatable building, concrete silo, or dome shaped structure. Silos, and domes allow for air-tight pressurized operations eliminating both air, and water born contamination issues. Capturing the plant transpiration will reduce water requirements to minute levels compared to irrigated field farming use.
Power use; Power consumption per sq foot surface area in one Volksgarden module, can be compared to the amount of supplemental lighting, modern day greenhouse operations use per square foot, which is 16 watts, and because this light is so far away from the plant in the green house (outside of the goldilocks zone) it is not in a growth relationship with the plant, it simply keeps the plant awake for long enough per day so that it does not go to seed. In a warehouse with no sunlight, this supplemental lighting would be completely ineffective and produce no usable plant material.
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The Omega Garden Carousel (OGC) is designed to make the most efficient use of light, energy, water, land, and labour, to produce the safest, highest quality, healthiest plants in a fully controllable environment, ensuring ultimate food safety and trace-ability, while providing the means for a food production and consumption paradigm shift, to global environmental and ecological sustainability through intelligent vertical farming.
In order to fully appreciate the quality of the OGC design and the potential impact on global food production, it’s important to understand the relationship a plant has to light and gravity.
There are several ways to measure light energy, however for the ‘light source to plant’ relationship we can look at the distance between the light source to the plant, and also the light source in relationship to all of the plants in the garden as a whole.
Whether the source is the sun, or a grow light, the principles are the same as far as the “inverse square law is any physical law stating that a specified physical quantity or strength is inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the source of that physical quantity.” – Wikipedea – The bottom line is about getting your light close enough to your plants to make them grow well, but not so close that the leaves get singed.
For the ‘light source to plant’ relationship, I personally prefer the ‘Habitable zone’ or ‘Goldilocks zone’ terminology often used by NASA when describing planets such as the Earth that have liquid water, not too cold, and not too hot, just right.
Lets first look at a candel, and what are called ‘Lumens’ Lumens are a measure of the light intensity striking a surface. As plants require light energy (lumens) to grow, the intensity of light energy available to the plant directly correlates with its health and size.
Based on a typical Lumen Light chart, the optimal plant growth to light source relationship is within a distance of two feet of the light source: As the distance between the light source and the plant increases the growth relationship decreases until there is no effective growth from the light source and the relationship is reduced to photo period only. This relationship merely keeps the plants awake.
In general, greenhouses make inefficient use of supplemental light sources and therefore only have a photo period relationship with plants and no real growth relationship.
Observe the distance between light sources and the plants in these photographs of typical greenhouse plant production, well beyond optimal plant and light source distance, as demonstrated by the Lumen light pyramid.
The OGC ingenuously works with the Lumen principle for the optimal plant growth to light source relationship possible.
All of the plants in the cylinder are within 24 inches of the light source, receiving the maximum light energy (lumens) from the lamps at all times, thus achieving maximum light efficiency.
Geotropism relates to the effect of gravity on plant growth hormones called Auxins. Omega Garden discovered that if plants are continually rotated horizontally top to bottom these Auxins are evenly distributed throughout the plant aiding in plant growth and strength.
The distribution of Auxins due to plant rotation increases plant growth rates by several times that of a stationary plant assuming that all other factors are equal. This phenomenon has been termed “Orbitropism” by Omega Garden Int.
Faced with diminishing arable land globally, rising land costs, human & urban population increases, rising transportation & fossil fuel costs, climate change, growing environmental impacts of the global food industry and lessening control over seed qualities (for example GMO’s), coupled with increased consumer demand for locally grown, healthy, traceable safe food, Omega Garden Int. is convinced the Omega Garden Carousel is a significant part of the global vertical farming solution.
In addition, the OGC is designed to be an indoor system that requires no direct or indirect sunlight and for example, can be utilized in an insulated facility in harsh climates where outdoor agriculture is unrealistic.
Up to six Grow Cylinders sit within the rotating Carousel, enabling 660 sq ft of plant growth surface area within 100 sq ft of floor space.
Based on Lumen efficiencies and Orbitropism, Omega Garden Int’s findings are that plant growth rates can be increased by many times. (Photo at right shows the increase growth rate of the Omega grown plant on left to stationary grown plant on right).
Commercial greenhouse supplemental lighting as seen in the previous pictures represents 16 watts per sq ft of floor space and are engaged much of the day and more so on overcast days, and winter lighting conditions.
There is no runoff water when using the OGC system. Further watering efficiencies can be achieved by condensing plant transpiration for reuse. “Crop plants transpire 200 to 1000 kg of water for every kg of dry matter produced” [Wikipedia]. Estimated water use is decrease by 99.9% per yield when comparing to field farming.
Farming indoors allows for semi-sterile and even sterile production, meaning that a new benchmark of quality and safety of foods and medicines can be achieved with a minimum of energy inputs.
Typical external contaminants (air, and soil pollution, pest, etc.) or internal contaminants (GMO containment, etc) are controlled to optimize plant growth and purity.
Waste heat coming off light sources will provide the necessary heat for growing in a cold environment.
Exceptional taste and previously unachievable quality due to stress of the rotation on the plants, are delivered by the Omega Garden design.