Caleb Harper, founder of the CITYFarm Research Project, and his team at MIT's Media Lab in Cambridge, Mass. appear to have found a way to grow food four times faster than it does in nature, using a new farming method called "Aeroponics."
Unlike regular hydroponics, a growing method that uses water instead of soil, the plants at CITYFarm do not sit in still water, but rather have their roots suspended in a "fog chamber" which sprays a nutrient-rich mist.
The CITYFarmers take great care to monitor each aspect of the plants' growth, to see which conditions work the best, including a technique of limiting light to red and blue.
"This is the spectrum of light that the plants need to grow extra plant material," Harper explains--and the rest of the spectrum besides red and blue only serves to provide heat.
Harper believes that Aeoroponics not only grows fuller, more developed plants, but could be a solution to local farmers looking to provide sustenance to booming city populations.
"We all know the phrase, 'the best X comes from X'", he explains, instead proposing that "the best X comes from the environment that created it."
"There is a new way to think of using fabrication space, especially if you look at a city like Detroit."
By building a similar set up, which requires no soil or great tracts of land, "it could be that the best strawberries in the world come from Detroit."