Yes, called the food of the future over 30 years ago, spirulina is still coming on today. Spirulina has become the most widely cultivated micro-algae all over the world on six continents.
My book 'Spirulina World Food' has been a good sourcebook for over 25 years.
Spirulina has six advantages:
Most large commercial spirulina farms want specialists with training, not volunteers.
Over the past decade, more entrepreneurs are getting involved with growing spirulina in smaller scale microfarms. I authored the recent book 'Algae Microfarms' to show examples of the entrepreneurs, small companies and NGOs growing spirulina and other algae around the world.
Algae microfarms are scalable small commercial farms often inside greenhouses in temperate climates. They may be the future of greenhouses, hydroponics and urban farming.
In a small area, fast-growing microalgae, like spirulina, can produce higher income for growers than conventional foods, vegetables and herbs.
My Smart Microfarm spirulina algae testbed is located in Olympia, Washington. As one of the northern-most spirulina farms in operation today, this facility demonstrates productivity in cooler climates where most people live. Ponds have insulating foam panels below and a retractable cover above, all within a larger greenhouse. This greenhouse pond design raises productivity and extends the growing season beyond the summer months.
Yes, spirulina can be grown at home in tanks, but some people will find it to be a somewhat time-consuming hobby to maintain the algae culture for the small amount than can be grown and harvested at home. It is more difficult keeping a specific algae culture growing well than growing vegetables, herbs, sprouts or fungi.
Way back in 1977, when a small team of us realized we could harness the amazing productivity of our original life form - algae, we set out to build first commercial algae production farm in the USA. By 1982, our pilot farm transformed into Earthrise Farms in Imperial Valley California, becoming the world's largest spirulina farm, and is still operating today.
The next step was to introduce algae to health food customers, raise awareness of spirulina as a superfood, and stimulate worldwide production especially where people most need it in developing countries. This is now well underway.
My focus has evolved from large-scale production to small-scale microfarms.
Based on 35 years of experience in the algae industry, the next step is to promote a viral spread of small algae systems across the planet. Successful small-scale spirulina cultivation is now practical and can support local food production.
We provide consulting services to start up spirulina production. Building a network model of algae microfarms with web-based sensors and controls so remote experts can guide local growers, without the cost of on-site algae scientists. This breakthrough, combined with scalable, modular growing systems, means algae microfarms can be installed anywhere in the world.
Now we have another way we can transform our food culture, sustainably and profitably.
(Ulla:) In addition, Robert Henrikson's YouTube channel has plenty of good information. And the Spirulina Health Library has references to research studies related to spirulina and cancer, viruses, cholesterol, diabetes, hypertension, anemia, nutrition, kidney and liver detoxification, immune system, radiation protection, etc.
Thank you so much Robert Henrikson for taking the time to answer these questions, and thank you for your amazing work in enabling nutritional and sustainable farming revolutions in the world!
(Images copyright: Robert Henrikson)
If this website has helped you, please donate 50 pence/ cents to encourage me to continue writing. The above link takes you to PayPal for a quick and hassle-free payment - sign-in possible but not necessary.
This book came out of a necessity to begin putting in one coherent place, neatly ordered, all the amazing ways we can use to naturally reclaim back our health, free of charge.
This book contains 70 brief chapters, each introducing you to the benefits of a certain technique, or a trick, to improve your health affordably. Methods suitable for busy lifestyles. Natural, noninvasive and easy techniques. Pick the ones that suit your lifestyle and interests best and begin enjoying the good life!
Foods that Heal: Spirulina Algae
Benefits of Wheatgrass Juice by Ann Wigmore
Effective Microorganisms - An Earth-Saving Revolution?
Nature Fights Back: Plastic-eating Fungus Discovered
UN: Small Farmers Needed to Feed the World
Ulla is the Editor of Cheap Health Revolution, covering natural remedies and health solutions.