People in Clark County can grow their own food year round by using climate controlled hydroponic green houses.
Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.
-13th most populous county in the USA
-One of the fastest growing counties
-Arid/ Desert Climate
-21.4% Foreign Born: Most Common countries of origin = Mexico, Philippines, El Salvador
-Childhood Food Insecurity rate = %20
-Dependent on surrounding states for food imports
-Large restaurant scene because of Las Vegas being the center of the county
-Access to locally grown crops is limited by the climate
-Dependent on the shrinking lake mead for water
Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?
Current Method: Soil Based Farming
-Heavy water, pesticide, fertilizer, and fuel usage poison our ecosystems
-Monocultures threaten biodiversity and soil fertilizer
-Insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, larvicides, are absorbed by the crops and eventually ingested by humans
-Nutrient depletion in soils results in crops containing less nutrient content
-Transportation from farm to table causes nutrient loss (Most produce loses 30% of nutrients 3 days after harvest, Some spinach loses 90% of vitamin c after 24 hours)
-Current agricultural methods lack resilience to rapid climate and weather changes, changes in regional climates decrease the reliability of farms to produce food.
-Many farms struggle to stay profitable due to high startup, transportation, storage, and spoilage costs
-Cuisine is a foundational aspect of a group's culture. Natively grown spices, and vegetables, and fruit make peoples dishes unique. Climate change and environmental damage are driving many of these ingredients to extinction.
-Advances in pesticides, genetic modification, and harvesting techniques have done wonders for global food security. But we are discovering how these high-input techniques are not sustainable, our soils and ecosystems are struggling to absorb the large amounts of waste and carbon produced by these farms.
-Current subsidies are outdated and reinforce traditional techniques. These policies often favor large industrial sized farms and squeeze out smaller family farms.
Vision: Localized food production using hydroponic Greenhouses.
-Clark County and its surrounding areas could soon be facing a serious water crisis. If this happens farms in California could lose production capabilities leading to food shortages in Nevada. Hydroponics is a viable solution because it uses less water, less fertilizer, less pesticides all while using zero soil.
-Reduced inputs and waste means less damage to our environment.
-Having lots of localized hydroponics farms reduces energy spent on transportation
-Less transportation distances means less spoilage and waste
-Reduced pesticide usage translates into cleaner food for consumption
-Because the micro-climate in a hydroponic system can be tightly controlled this means a wider variety of crops can be grown, contributing to a more diverse diet
-Precise controls on the nutrient content in the water that feeds the plants ensures that the crops contain the ideal nutrient profile for consumption.
-Having food produced closer to its point of consumption reduces nutrient loss and maximizes freshness
-Hydroponic systems can be scaled from single plant to large thousand plant operations
-If implemented correctly hydroponic farms can yield higher profit margins than traditional farms. Hydroponic farms benefit from: reduced input costs (H20, nutrients, pesticides), higher yields, year round production, and lower overhead costs
-Implementation of hydroponic farms can be done incrementally, massive startup costs aren’t required to start sustainable farms.
-Plants grown in the hydroponic greenhouses are less likely to be ruined by changes in weather or disease.
-Ability to grow polyculture means production is flexible and can adapt to market demands.
-Localizing production increases the food security of communities protecting their stability and independence.
-The microclimate inside a hydroponic system can be adjusted to grow a variety of unique ingredients by simulating different conditions.
-This capability allows people to maintain their native cuisines.
-Brings a wider variety of spices, herbs, vegetables, and fruit to communities, helping to enrich the culture
-Gives restaurants a wider selection of ingredients
-Hydroponics and greenhouse technology needs to become cheaper to increase adoption
-If climate change persists at current rates; food production may not be able to keep up with demand
-Clark County is particularly vulnerable due to its dense population, and geographic isolation from arable land
-The Local, and state governments of the region have a vested interest in ensuring that Clark County retains its food security, as famine and food shortages could lead to civil unrest
-Governments at all levels are recommended to increase funding for the research and development of farming technology that is resistant to changes in climate