The Novel Farm event held in Pordenone on 13th-14th February 2019 focused on hydroponic crops, aquaculture and evolved aquaculture. It was the first edition of a small exhibition part of the Aquafarm fair.
It showcased lighting technologies, hydroponic components and aquaculture systems. "Hydroponic cultivation is already rather popular and there already exist floating supports where water is always in contact with roots or there are fixed cells reached by the water twice a day," explained an operator.
Vertical Farms are instead "cabinet" crops where all parameters are monitored and suitable mainly for indoor locations such as hotels and restaurants. Cultivation platforms are equipped with vertical ebb-and-flow irrigation valves, while fertigation is managed through a blending system connected to the pallets. LED lighting systems with red and blue diode rows are increasingly popular.
As for aquaculture, it has already diversified despite being a rather new technique. Traditional aquaculture involves a water flow between the cultivation tank (with hydroponic water) and a tank with fish that purify and provide nutrients to the water.
The evolved version sees the plants and fish coexist in the same tank in an ongoing adiabatic cycle where water regenerates and the vegetable mass yield is much higher than in similar systems.