Vertical farming is a big deal – over $3 billion dollars big worldwide! This ingenious farming method turns otherwise bare walls into a bountiful growing area.
Are you wondering what vertical farming is and how it’s feeding the future? Check out our brief guide for answers to your questions about vertical farming.
The Basics of Vertical Farming
Due to population growth and urbanization, there isn’t as much arable land available. This means fewer areas of large swathes of land for growing food.
How can we make up for that lost land and how will we feed a growing population? One way is through vertical farming. What is vertical farming?
Vertical farming is growing food on vertical, instead of horizontal, surfaces. The side of a building or indoor, vertically-stacked shelving units are good examples. This makes better use of available space.
When it comes to our future, vertical farming is promising. How is it feeding our future?
1. Saves Water
Regular land crops use more water due to inefficient soil practices and evaporation. Vertical farming technology includes growing food in non-soil mediums. This means using far less water than traditional farming methods.
2. Increased Food Production Year-Round
Imagine a big room full of shelves stacked as high as the ceiling with automated control of water, temperature, and light. The shelves rotate on their own so each plant gets access to the right amount of light.
A 30-story building produces the same amount of food as 2,400 acres from a conventional farm. This translates into one high-rise building equalling almost 500 conventional farms.
Since the plants grow inside, there’s not only more production but also year-round production. You can try this type of gardening yourself at home! Growing herbs indoors means you’ll have access to fresh herbs year-round.
3. Increased Organic Crops
If you’re growing your food inside, there are fewer worries about pests. A controlled environment indoors means no need for chemical pesticides.
4. No Weather Worries
Conventional farmers deal with adverse conditions all the time. Floods, fires, tornadoes, and hurricanes all affect growing conditions.
Global climate change makes conventional farming more difficult due to increased adverse weather. Vertical farming helps reduce weather-related food catastrophes.
Indoor vertical farming reduces many of the hazards known to conventional farming. From chemical pesticides to dangerous farming equipment, it’s safer for humans and animals.
It’s also better for the environment because it doesn’t lead to soil erosion. Vertical farming reduces the need to encroach on wetlands or forested areas. This helps maintain and increase biodiversity which is also good for the environment.
Vertical Farming for the Future
Vertical farming is still a new technology and as such there are some kinks to work out. Farming practices that use less land and water, though, are better for the future of humans and the planet.
As vertical farming takes root, the technologies are moving into existing indoor farming practices such as greenhouses. No doubt, vertical farming is changing the future of food production for the better.
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