Ask the Ray

" If you grow crops in the right-of-way, would the chemicals and metals in water running off from the highway threaten them or bio-accumulate in them? "

John Lanier
Executive Director, Ray C. Anderson Foundation

As long as internal combustion engines still dominate the road, growing crops in the right-of-way is impossible because of the chemicals and pollutants that make their way into the denigrated soil of the right-of-way. However, we see this as an opportunity.

Choices are constantly being made about whether land should be used for food or energy production. Because the right-of-way is incompatible with food production, we have an opportunity to relieve some of the pressure for more energy production on food-compatible land and move it to the right-of-way. Additionally, other non-food crops can be grown in the right-of-way. On The Ray we have a perennial grain pilot. This grain will produce fibers that can be used in the production of highly disposable goods like diapers, napkins, and paper towers.

Related Content

Bioswales Along The Ray

Farming in the Highway Shoulder