Vertical Farming

Coming November 2023

Vertical farming is exactly what it sounds like: farming vertically rather than traditional, horizontal agriculture. By using vertically stacked layers, farmers can produce much more food on the same amount, or less, of land.

Often these layers are integrated into buildings such as skyscrapers, housed in warehouses or shipping containers (like ours), greenhouses, or placed in spaces that would otherwise be unfit for farming.

Yet vertical farming is much more than just stacking plants and hoping for the best. The practice requires artificial temperature, light, water, and humidity control. If a delicate balance is not maintained, it’s possible to lose an entire crop the way a traditional farm might in the event of a drought or flood.

The Benefits of Vertical Farming

 

Vertical farming has many benefits, with this model providing maximum output with minimal environmental impact and far less space required. With resources at a premium, it will become increasingly difficult to maintain food production using traditional methods.

 
Utilize Less Water & Space

With vertical farming techniques; farmers can use 98 percent less water and 99 percent less land. They can produce crop yields of 240 times that of traditional farms through year-round rolling or perpetual harvest. All of our produce is powered by the sun rather than LED lights, so these crops are not reliant on fossil fuels or other less ideal energy sources.

By 2050, around 80 percent of the world’s population will live in urban areas. This population structure will mean a higher demand for food in the areas where land is the hardest to come by. In these large urban centers, vertical farming offers a way to meet this increased demand for food without the need for vast fields. 

Increased Production All Year

Vertical farming also offers increased production overall and consistent year-round production. Gone are the days when some fruits and vegetables were only available seasonally. Instead, vertical farms can produce all sorts of crops year-round with little dependence on weather or climate.

Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) Eliminates Environmental Impacts

Indoor vertical farming often includes a practice called Controlled Environment Agriculture, or CEA. CEA involves a series of technologies designed around providing optimal conditions for plants. It controls factors like temperature, lighting, and humidity to allow farmers to grow plants that would otherwise not be suitable for the climate and weather. 

There are several benefits to a CEA setup. CEA can significantly lessen the occupational hazards associated with traditional farming. Indoor farming does not allow access to wildlife, eliminating the conflict between farmers and native species. It doesn’t expose farmers to hazards and diseases such as malaria, poisonous chemicals, and other life-threatening challenges. And with no hazardous chemical runoff, farm-adjacent communities are also protected.According to EcoWatch, vertical farms are the way of the future:

“Vertical farms are being used beyond food. In fact, they’re being used to aid human health. Caliber Biotherapeutics in Bryan, Texas, is home to the world’s largest plant-made pharmaceutical facility. This 18-story, 150,000-square-foot facility contains a staggering 2.2 million tobacco-like plants stacked 50 feet high, that will be used for making new drugs and vaccines. Because the indoor farm is so carefully monitored and tightly controlled by technicians, these expensive plants are shielded from possible diseases and contamination from the outside world.”

Food Desert Solution

Finally, vertical farms can solve the increasing problem of food deserts in heavily populated areas that lack access to fresh foods such as fruits and vegetables.

Because vertical farms can be constructed with a small footprint and can even be integrated into existing buildings and rooftops, vertical farming has already started to produce food oases where deserts once existed.

This provides healthy food where only unhealthy options were previously available. Because it doesn’t require a lengthy shipping and warehousing process, it can also produce affordable and nutritional food for low-income families.

Reduced Arable Land 

With arable land quickly depleting due to erosion and pollution, we’re heading toward a crisis. We must find ways to produce healthy food without needing acres and acres of quality topsoil. Vertical farming can help contribute to this solution by farming upward rather than outward.

Since many vertical farms are contained within greenhouses or other structures, they can be built nearly anywhere — in densely populated urban centers, on rooftops and inside warehouses, or even in depleted areas where traditionally farmed crops can no longer grow. 

Pesticide-free 

CEA vertical farms typically have little need or even use for pesticides. By controlling the environment around crops, these systems keep out pests naturally – no need for chemical pesticides that can cause other problems down the line.

Reduced Emissions

Since vertical farms can be constructed in urban areas; this reduces how far produce travels between farms and grocery stores, lowering their carbon footprint. This also means fewer food miles and fresher produce reaching your local grocer. When food is grown mere miles from where consumers will eat it, it stays fresher longer, creating less food waste and offering fresher, healthy food for local families.

Food Safety

Food recalls are a common occurrence. We’re always hearing about produce tainted by E.Coli or other pathogens. 

Vertical farming virtually eliminates this problem by carefully monitoring and controlling the environment around plants, creating near laboratory conditions and preventing farming diseases. In such an environment, the introduction of contaminants is far less likely. 

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