RE-ENGINEERING OF NATURE: CONCEPT OF GREENHOUSE

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nature

‘No beauty can ever come close to match nature’s beauty’, said someone ages ago. By definition, nature is the phenomenon of the physical and material world. And on a broader scale it refers more to the physical world in the sense of wildlife and plant life, rather than the material world. Actually nature roughly includes everything scaling from the atomic level to the cosmic level in which humans take no part in creating them. Now that we have a sense of nature that I’m going to detail in the due course of the article, I would say, ‘Nature does everything required for it, all by itself’. In fact the whole world surviving till now is the mere grace of nature, engineering itself according to the conditions. No human intervention or whatsoever is required in any manner. The beauty of whole nature lies in the fact that elements of nature can adapt and avail themselves suiting the scenario.

These days nature is in harm’s way and by harm’s way, I mean fast depleting resources, global warming, nuclear waste and stuff that you already know. Humans have made nature suit them and by this they caused drastic effects lasting a bad impact. Nature can replenish the effects caused by human life, but the rate is slow. So two things can be done – first one is to reduce or stop troubling nature by human efforts and the second thing is to help nature to increase its replenishing rate. First one is easy and better to practice. Though this article is on the lines of first method, it is oriented more towards the second way. In the second method, we come up with new solutions, ideas and concepts to help nature to regain its health. One such concept is Greenhouse systems.

greenhouse

Greenhouse essentially is bringing out the whole nature into a contained and controlled ecosystem. Plants grow in those controlled environments where every factor contributing to the plant growth can be monitored. They come in all sizes, right from size of a small room to huge industrial grade complexes. Often high tech glass greenhouses are commercial production facilities. Though the concept may seem simple on paper, it has its difficulties in executing. Theoretically greenhouse involves monitoring and controlling all the growth factors. But in practice, controlling humidity, light conditions, moisture, watering might be difficult.

Some of the important factors that are to be controlled for effective green-housing are light, heat, ventilation, humidity, irrigation and adding fertilizers. Light and shade are controlled by the structure of the greenhouse. Greenhouses are mainly of two types – with plastic greenhouses and glass greenhouses. Common thing here is that they both are transparent, allowing the interaction of plants with sunlight. On the contrary, having plastic greenhouses makes it difficult to control heat as they don’t insulate well. Electrical furnace heating and other means can be used, but it shoots up production costs. Therefore glass greenhouses are used for mass commercial purposes. Proper ventilation is done by the movement of vents, according to the requirement. It is often automated and is done with the help of a computer. Ventilation provides fresh air to the plants and also makes them less prone to attack by pests. Humidity sensors linked to a computer also helps in detecting the humidity sensors and operates vents accordingly. Owing to the fact that greenhouse plantations have a pattern, irrigation becomes easy. Drip irrigation is commonly used. Adding fertilizers is done manually as it isn’t regularly needed as irrigation and other factors. There may be other factors, not listed here, but they aren’t that important.

Greenhouse-drip-irrigation

But what’s the point in taking all these efforts? Of course, there is a point. It has a set of very good advantages when put to use. It is greatly used when every detail of plant growth is required for observations. It also makes a great platform to research on new plant varieties to optimize its growing conditions. Plantations in greenhouse show more efficiency than plants growing outside. Also manipulating of seasons, can be done which accommodate year round vegetation. Another big advantage is, vegetation which isn’t naturally observed can be grown in greenhouses. If they are automated, they don’t need human attention at large which eases up your schedule. In a long run and large scale, greenhouses make a very good investment with promising returns. On the whole, it gives us more control over the nature, in this case the plantations and the ultimate thing for which nations fight over is ’control’.

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As Jack and Jill come together, even greenhouse has challenges to face. Main drawback is the cost of set up and automating them. Though they are profitable once set up, but to set up greenhouses is not an easy thing. As control lies in humans and human made computers, one small error will bring out large damages in the ecological balance of greenhouse. They keep out the undesirable weather conditions outside; thereby keeping the pests in. Pests pose a serious threat in managing greenhouses. But the big picture is that its advantages outweigh its disadvantages by a large factor. Greenhouses are good for nature conservation. So support greenhouse and GO GREEN!

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