As our world’s population grows we increase the strain on both space and supply of food. As our population grows another 2 billion by 2050 and space becomes limited many countries will turn towards vertical farming. We thought we’d answer the question:
how does vertical farming work?
What is vertical farming?
Vertical farming is self explanatory, it’s the process of farming in vertical layers. This includes in or out-side buildings. It can be in apartments, offices, warehouses or even smaller personal gardens. Vertical farming is usually in a controlled environment such as artificial light, temperature, humidity and nutrition.
Vertical farming is not only a space-saving solution for the process of agriculture, but can improve the aesthetics and energy efficiency of a building. We blogged about the ACROS in Fukuoka Japan. The Japanese utilised vertical farming in their office building and it features 35,000 plants from 76 different species.
What are the benefits of vertical farming?
Food is grown and supplied all over the world. Vertical farming provides the opportunity to grow food directly where it’s eaten.
According to Upworthy “To date, we’ve cleared space the size of South America for growing crops. And to make matters worse, 33% of the world’s land surface is already degraded and can’t be used.” (Source) “…nearly all the land that can produce food is already being farmed” (Source)”
For obvious space-related reasons we don’t grow crops in cities. Vertical farming offers a solution; we can grow food in a city, to supply a city. By vertical farming we reduce food waste and transportation therefore also reducing our effects on climate change.
Dr Despommier, a professor of environmental sciences and microbiology at Columbia University, believes that New York City only needs 150 30-storey vertical farm buildings to supply a year’s worth of food itself. (Source)
The process of vertical farming can be almost entirely self-sufficient. They can rely on energy supply from solar panels, recycled and re-used water and provide oxygen to the environment. They can even supply unused energy back to the grid.
Upworthy has a great article featuring beautiful pictures of vertical farming in production right now.