This Dutch Town Plans to Grow Its Own Food and Handle Its Own Waste Totally Off the Grid

A high-tech village in the Netherlands plans to be almost totally self-sustainable with food, drink, and waste by 2017
Staff Writer
This experiment could be groundbreaking for waste management and food security in Europe.


This experiment could be groundbreaking for waste management and food security in Europe.

An experiment in Netherlands that’s taking place in 2017 could completely change the way the world looks at food security and waste. Next year, a high-tech community known as a ReGen Village will be built and inhabited, and it will be totally off the grid. The 100-home farming community will have to grow and provide its own food, manage waste, manage its own energy sources, and recycle water.

If it is successful, the experiment will be brought to Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Germany to prove that, yes: We can put sustainability back in our hands.

Communal farms are not a new idea to the Netherlands, or America for that matter, but this is one of the first times a community will be monitored testing near total self-sufficiency.

"We're really looking at starting off as the Tesla of eco-villages," ReGen Villages CEO James Ehrlich told Fast Company. "We are redefining residential real-estate development by creating these regenerative neighborhoods, looking at first these greenfield pieces of farmland where we can produce more organic food, more clean water, more clean energy, and mitigate more waste than if we just left that land to grow organic food or do permaculture there."

Waste will be handled in a closed loop: It will feed livestock and soldier flies, the flies will feed the fish, and fish waste will in turn fertilize the aquaponics system. That’s just one of the handful of closed-loops system within the community. There will also be an array of aeroponics, aquaponics, permaculture, food forests, and high-yield organic farming using far less water than any other traditional method of farming, according to Fast Company. 

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