Skip to content

Growing bananas in northern climes

  • by JW

Developing cheaper, smaller-scale farming technologies


Will a truly local-only farming system mean that our choice of food will become very limited?

Or if we want both local and choice, won’t that be totally unsustainable?


However, in Iceland, it is possible to grow salad in Iceland sustainably – simply because there are lots of volcanos:

How Iceland is Revolutionizing Green Agriculture |


Here’s a rather neat way of producing bananas in a cold climate:


Take the example of supplying a major city in the global north with tropical fruits, say Vancouver, BC and the demand for bananas in February.

Without the massive government subsidies to sustain global logistics networks and freight infrastructure, residents of Vancouver would simply be deprived of having a simple commodity such as bananas available for the masses, and members of the working class would now consider bananas to be culturally synonymous with caviar and champagne.

The real alternative to this outcome would be to work and improve on cheap-enough technologies such as container farming with controlled climates to allow growing bananas locally during winters.

At first it would still be extremely expensive and accessible to the wealthy, and possibly five or ten times the price but if the rate of progress is sustained even in low double digits annually- a tenth of Moore’s law- within a decade or two, it will be cheaper than large scale industrial farming with advances in synthetic biology, genetic editing, and climate-controlled systems, done not by an army of central planners and gigantic logistics chains across the globe, but by a few dozen supermarkets in Vancouver tinkering with containers on their rooftops, and sharing information with other organizations in different cold cities on best practices…

The Growth of Degrowth and The Confusion of Democratic Socialists |

photo: banana tree, green, plant, leaf, plants, nature, leaves, trees …


In the global south, cheaper, smaller-scale farming technologies are already being developed:

Innovative Greenhouses Help Farmers Adapt to Climate Change |