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A most remarkable, unique invention of the Common Heritage Corporation (CHC) at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (NELHA) is cold agriculture (ColdAg™). The name “Blue-Green Revolution” was chosen to designate this new form of agriculture in order to express the possibility of a blue ocean creating life and greenery in a tropical coastal desert.

 

ColdAg™ utilizes only the cold from deep ocean water (DOW) to create a year-round-spring-like microclimate for plant roots under tropical desert conditions which produces ideal conditions for growth of tropical, subtropical and temperate crops. Basically, deep ocean water pumped to the surface is directed into polyethylene pipes embedded in the soil for the purpose of chilling the ground, thereby creating a spring-like microclimate that extends from below the plant roots to the soil surface. Moisture in the warm tropical air is drawn down to the cool soil causing freshwater condensate to form and be carried onto the cold pipes and plant roots by gravity.



*In July in a tropical coastal desert
The soil is therefore largely self-irrigating. Plants are able to capture thermal energy created by the temperature difference between the roots and the foliage. This added energy potential enables the plants to grow at an incredible rate seen elsewhere only in springtime – 365 days a year in a coastal desert.
 
CHC has grown more than one hundred varieties of fruits, vegetables and herbs, all showing surprisingly high sugar and aromatic content, with ColdAg™ technology. Pineapple plants can produce fruit in less than six months instead of the 12 to 14 months it takes ordinary pineapples to appear. CHC has also grown a wide variety of flowers, including orchids. Sunflowers can be “tricked” into producing more than a dozen flowers per stalk. The salt water is confined to the pipes and does not touch the ground. This technology has been developed using organic gardening techniques and has enormous potential for developing countries with tropical coastal deserts adjacent to deep ocean.
 
This revolutionary new form of agriculture also allows gardeners to force and break dormancy in seasonal and perennial plants by turning off the cold water for a period and then restoring it, thereby simulating the effect of a temporary climate change. With the restoration of the cold root environment, dormancy is broken and the plant reenters its production cycle. This allows for the possibility of three or four harvest cycles in one year. The most convincing example of manipulating dormancy is with wine grapes. Subjecting grape vines to a short period of drought at local desert temperatures by turning off the cold water and then restoring the water to break dormancy has resulted in a

Grapevines grown with ColdAg™ technology produce three

 crops per year. The maturing grapes they bear will soon be

ready for picking.

remarkable crop of the very best temperate grapes per vine every 120 days or a total of three crops a year. One positive feature of cold agriculture is that it requires no drainage; there is a complete absence of wastewater that threatens the environment by contributing run-off pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers as often occurs with traditional irrigation methods.
 
CHC’s Ecoturf™ technology is a particularly interesting development. It will grow and maintain high quality turf consisting of grasses from virtually any climatic zone under tropical desert conditions. As with other plants, these world-class turfs use ColdAg™ technology that produces freshwater condensate from deep ocean water, reducing watering by at least 80% compared to traditional irrigation methods. They consist of longer, deeper grass roots that make better playing surfaces; they are able to withstand impact and then come back for more by repairing themselves quickly. This technology makes possible the development of high quality low-cost landscaping and creates safer playing surfaces for sports, e.g., soccer, baseball, lawn tennis and golf, in tropical coastal desert locations.

Dr. John P. Craven, CHC Chief Science Advisor, stands among the lush plants of the CHC experimental garden developed in the rocky desert at NELHA using ColdAgTM technology.

 

 

 

Dr. Jack R. Davidson prepares to tee off on tee grass grown with Ecoturf™ technology at NELHA.

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