The Houston Almond Dome?

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

California’s drought riddled Central Valley produces 80% of the world’s almonds, but each nut takes a gallon of water to produce. Hmmm.

By spraying mineralized water on plant roots, vertical farming techniques have succeeded in reducing agricultural water use by 91% in some crops. You need enclosed climate controlled space, and the price of real estate is a key consideration.

Now comes word that scientists have succeeded in increasing crop yields by keeping plants under lights 24/7.

Which leads us to…the Astrodome.

The so-called “8th Wonder of the World” when it was built became antiquated. The Houston Oilers moved away to become the Tennessee Titans in search of a modern stadium, and the Astros eventually moved to their own space as well. When the NFL put an expansion team in Houston, a new stadium was the price of poker. The Houston Texans modern stadium sits right next to the Astrodome.

There was a city referendum on turning the old dome into some sort of park. It failed. It was said that they would tear the thing down if it didn’t pass, but perhaps because of the expense of hauling away the rubble it is still sitting there.

So…anyone see where I am going with this? Houston would be better off selling the dome for a dollar than spending millions to demolish it and haul away the remains. Especially if you could, you know, steal another California industry in the process. The Astrodome is dead, long live the Almond Dome!

5 Responses to The Houston Almond Dome?

  1. Empty shopping malls may also be converted into this type of facility.

  2. Greg Forster says:

    Does climate play a role here? Can you just neo-farm almonds anywhere?

    • matthewladner says:

      I’m not sure anyone has tried almonds yet, but I assume that if you can control the climate and adapt the spraying roots with mineral enriched water techniques you might be able to pull it off.

      • Greg Forster says:

        We’re not necessarily just talking about maintaining a given temperature here. Controlling the climate in a building that size might be . . . expensive.

      • matthewladner says:

        Could be, but at least energy is cheap in TX.

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