At EcoTech Visions, we work with several entrepreneurs and small business moving from traditional models of food production to highly innovative and sustainable types of production. Our Farmtech businesses look to maximize the use of naturally occurring conditions, limiting the use of energy, chemicals, or other types of products that produce a large footprint on any type of food crop production.
One of the most interesting and accessible options for increasing sustainable, environmentally friendly methods of growing crops is to pair them with the production of solar power. In a recent 2018 article in Scientific American, author Frank Jossi outlines how solar panel farms are also serving as a secondary producer of specific types of crops.
Adding to the Environment
In the article, the author talks about the use of the area under the solar panels to grow crops that thrive without continuous and direct sunlight. For example, a solar panel farm used native seeds to start growth around and under the panels. This produced the ideal conditions for bee farmers, who were able to set up hives around the solar farms.
The native flowers thrived with the presence of the pollinators, helping to expand the natural grasses and plants in the area. The farmers were able to harvest the honey, which was harvested in areas not treated with any types of chemicals.
This type of symbiotic process, where land is used for more than one type of production, is a great example of some of the similar types of ideas the innovators at EcoTech Visions are planning with their food production business models.
In many types of food production, drying or dehydrating of plants and seeds is used as part of the processing methods. Using solar power is a great way to not only provide the thermal energy needed for the drying process but to also run fans and solar dryers that are energy efficient and do not leave a carbon footprint.
These types of innovations are just a few of the ideas our members at EcoTech Visions look to in creating green and sustainable food production methods.