Hydroponics and Vertical Farming

VERTICAL FARMING, GROWING UP

Traditionally, to grow food, you needed land -lots of land. As we have heard, available land for farming is disappearing all over the world as Earth’s population increases. There are twice as many people on the planet today as there were in 1970. So, the challenge is, how to grow and harvest crops when there isn’t enough land on which to grow them. Well, how about something called vertical farming. Farmscrapers and Skyscrapers with planted veggies on the inside.

An illustration

An illustration of the 177 feet vertical farm in the works for Linkoping, Sweden.

Pretty cool eh? This revolutionary approach is fast gaining in popularity. It’s effective, innovative and a productive compliment to standard sprawling land cultivation. Vertical farming is taking agriculture in a new direction, Up!

In many parts of the world, farming is beginning to move away from the country and into urban areas. What was once planted in the ground is now being grown in towering greenhouses.

Sky Greens  located in Singapore, is the worlds first commercial vertical farm, referred to as the “farm of the future”. This indoor organic farmscraper is three stories tall and grows green leafy vegetables in it’s downtown location. A 30-story building covering one square city block could produce a harvest equal to that of a 2, 400-acre horizontal farm. Wow! 

DRAWBACKS OF CONVENTIONAL FARMING

  • High cost of fossil fuels required to plow, plant, harvest, store, ship and refrigerate products
  • The loss of damaged produce incurred during shipping leading to waste.
  • The heavy use of synthetic chemical fertilizers and pesticides which affect public health and environmental contamination of streams and groundwater.
  • Air quality is affected by the fossil fuels burned to bring a harvest to table.
  • Labor and transportation costs translate to higher consumer prices.

THE POSITIVES OF VERTICAL FARMING

  • Can reduce or eliminate the need for trucks or trains for shipping.
  • Produce is picked at the peak of freshness, not harvested prematurely for shipping.
  • Organically grown and free of pesticides (and weeds).
  • No damaged goods to sort through so less waste.
  • Unmatched energy efficiency while reducing air and ground pollution.
  • Immune to storms, drought and cold, allowing for 365 day per year growing.

As developments in this new tech-savvy method of farming continue and incorporate hydroponics, aeroponics and aquaponics, Farmscapers, Urban farmers, and vertical gardening will become more cost effective to operate and more commonplace.

Questions? Comments? Please send us an email. Thanks for Reading!

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