Food crops are coming back to Biosphere 2, but they won’t be planted in the 3 acres under glass at the University of Arizona research facility in Oracle.
A company named Civic Farms plans to grow its leafy greens under artificial lights in one of the cavernous “lungs” that kept the Biosphere’s glass from imploding or exploding when it was all sealed up.
The lungs, which equalized the air pressure in the dome, are no longer needed now that the Biosphere is no longer sealed. The west lung will be transformed into a “vertical farm” that will train LED lights on stacked racks of floating plants whose roots draw water and nutrients from circulating, fortified water.
Photo: Karen E. Varga