In the summer of 2012, Sergio Gamberini, founder of diving equipment ﬁrm Ocean Reef Group, was enjoying a seaside vacation on the Italian Riviera. Resting in between dives, he enjoyed strolling along the edge of the sea chatting with friends.
One day, the conversation veered to his other passion: gardening.
Would it be possible, he wondered, to create the perfect growing conditions for basil, the most popular local herb and an essential ingredient for pesto?
Like most herbs, basil prefers protected, sunny locations with well-drained soils and a constant, stable temperature.
Glancing at the sea, Gamberini was struck with an unusual idea: why not try to grow basil underwater? Bizarre as it might have seemed, the idea made perfect sense coming from a diving aﬁcionado and innovation-minded entrepreneur. In fact, it would have allowed Mr. Gamberini to combine two of his passions: scuba diving and gardening. He made a couple of phone calls and, with the help of his team at Ocean Reef Group, started experimenting, sinking transparent biospheres 20 feet below the surface of the sea and ﬁlling them with air.
The project’s goal was initially a provocation, but suddenly turned in something more ambitious:
create an alternative system of agriculture, especially dedicated to those areas where environmental conditions, economical or morphologic reasons make plants growth extremely difﬁcult.
Nemo’s Garden’s aims to create a system that utilizes natural resources already available, the foremost important one being the oceans and other bodies of water.