After many months in the planning and lots of enthusiasm and input from scientists, engineers, growers and construction experts we have taken our first steps in creating a new wet farming system this week.
Diggers, bulldozers and dumpers are working on a precision operation to create 10 planting beds and a water storage pool which will become home to hundreds of thousands of plants plugs of flowers, grasses and mosses which thrive in moist soil. The moisture in the soil will protect it from being lost through chemical reactions and erosion, offering a new way to reduce the carbon footprint of farming.
As soon as the first planting bed is complete we will be filling it with bulrush – an amazing super hungry plant which will strip the incoming water of impurities and feed clean water to the rest of the beds. This crop can be turned into fuel, building materials, animal feed and cavity wall insulation. The other beds will be planted with reeds, future grain crops, and flowers which could be the next thing in medicine or flavourings – think tasty beer or a new gin botanical!
Finally when the last beds are laid down to moss in the summer we will have planted the star of the show – Sphagnum moss – an amazing plant which sounds almost too good to be true, and could be one of the answers to climate change gas release from farming.