About Vertical Farming
Vertical Farming achieves a high density food production for the commercial grower and space saving for the home gardener. Whether for the apartment patio, backyard greenhouse, small farm, or indoor classroom; vertical gardening planters are used by everyone and are everywhere. Vertical gardens simplify growing food such as strawberries, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, herbs, peppers, and almost anything you can imagine.
Why Vertical Farms?
It is estimated that by the year 2050, close to 80% of the world’s population will live in urban areas and the total population of the world will increase by 3 billion people. A very large amount of land may be required depending on the change in yield per acre. Scientists are concerned that this large amount of required farmland will not be available and that severe damage to the earth will be caused by the added farmland. Vertical farms, if designed properly, may eliminate the need to create additional farmland and help create a cleaner environment.
Unlike traditional farming in non-tropical areas, indoor farming can produce crops year-round. All-season farming multiplies the productivity of the farmed surface by a factor of 4 to 6 depending on the crop. With some crops, such as strawberries, the factor may be as high as 30.
Furthermore, as the crops would be sold in the same infrastructures in which they are grown, they will not need to be transported between production and sale, resulting in less spoilage, infestation, and energy required than conventional farming encounters. Research has shown that 30% of harvested crops are wasted due to spoilage and infestation, though this number is much lower in developed nations.
Dickson Despommier, a professor of environmental health sciences and microbiology at Columbia University in New York City suggests that, if dwarf versions of certain crops are used, which is smaller in size but richer in nutrients, year-round crops, and "stacker" plant holders are accounted for, a 30-story building with a base of a building block (5 acres) would yield a yearly crop analogous to that of 2,400 acres of traditional farming.
Conservation of resources
Each unit of area in a vertical farm could allow up to 20 units of area of outdoor farmland to return to its natural state and recover farmlands due to development from original flat farmlands. Vertical farming also uses 85% less water than traditional farming.
The controlled growing environment reduces the need for pesticides, namely herbicides and fungicides. Advocates claim that producing organic crops in vertical farms is practical and the most likely production
Vertical farming, used in conjunction with other technologies and socioeconomic practices, could allow cities to expand while remaining largely self-sufficient food wise. This would allow for large urban centers that could grow without destroying considerably larger areas of forest to provide food for their people. Moreover, the industry of vertical farming will provide employment to these expanding urban centers. This may help displace the unemployment created by the dismantling of traditional farms, as more farm laborers move to cities in search of work. It is highly unlikely that traditional farms will become obsolete, as there are many crops that are not suited for vertical farming, and the production costs are currently much lower.