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World's first underwater farm reopens growing lettuce and strawberries

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 Nemo's Garden
Nemo's Garden   -   Copyright  OceanReefGroup2021
By Doloresz Katanich  & Giorgia Orlandi

The world's first underwater farm, dubbed 'Nemo’s Garden', has just started producing fruit and veg again after a particularly long break.

A unique structure consisting of six underwater greenhouses off the coast of Noli, Italy, was created by the Ocean Reef Group in 2012. Step by step, the project started to yield various herbs such as basil different types of salad, tomatoes, courgettes, beans, green peas, aloe vera, mushrooms and strawberries.

"Every year, we are discovering new possible applications for the biospheres,” says Gianni Fontanesi, project coordinator at Nemo’s Garden. These include eco-tourism, fish farming, seaweed farming, or as scientific research labs or underwater stations for monitoring wildlife research.

The project suffered serious storm damage in October 2019.

It was very close to being halted altogether. The team worked on giving new life to the six underwater air-filled pods anchored to the bottom of the sea in order to keep the farm up and running.

But soon another challenge came looming. Due to COVID-19 restrictions they had to to leave the habitat unguarded for months.

Yet, the structure fended for itself, unguarded, and the farm has just been re-opened more resilient than ever.

Click on the video above to see how crops are produced under the sea.