Rohit Fenn (’18) was there, tinkering and testing his prototype. I was lucky to catch him right before he departed for Amsterdam to participate in the Thought For Food (TFF) Global Summit, an international forum for scholars, innovators, and environmentalists to come together to solve the global food crisis. Rohit and his team are 1 of only 10 finalists in the TFF Challenge this year, pitching their floating greenhouse (called BlueGreen Nexus) as a solution to ending world hunger by 2050.
I discovered Sterling College from halfway across the world on the Internet and knew right away this place had something unconventional but beautiful to offer me. Considering I had spent the majority of my life in tropical South India, there was some uncertainty about how well I would fit in this rural Vermont context. I’m a little over a month into my time here at Sterling, and I’m absolutely loving it here. I haven’t felt more comfortable, stimulated, and driven all at the same time anywhere else. Being here means to be constantly surrounded by people who have that same appreciation for the outdoors and are trying to understand nature through the lends of the scientific process. A friend with very similar interests and I are already drawing up plans for a high-production intensity hydroponics greenhouse.
Rohit knew, even then, that Sterling would be a good fit, because of the school’s goals for carbon neutrality, and because of our unique juxtaposition with Burlington, VT, a city that has gone to great lengths to use appropriate technology to decrease its carbon footprint.
BlueGreen Nexus is meant to cut the costs of socially and economically expensive land for urban agriculture by moving agricultural efforts off-land entirely and promoting floating agriculture. The floating greenhouse passively harvests humidity from the surrounding air and distills it into fresh water, utilized by a hydroponic system inside. Rohit said the end goal of BlueGreen Nexus is to achieve complete water neutrality in a sustainable agricultural system.