The Evolution of Vertical Farming

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 Green Sense Farm in Chicago.” LED Lights Power Up a Big Idea in Hydroponic Farming,” Retrieved from http://www.greenbusinessnetwork.org/led-lights-power-up-a-big-idea-in-hydroponic-farming/

According to the United Nations the world population will spread 9.6 billion people by 2050, in which eighty-six percentage would be living in cities. Therefore, cities would be more congested and thus more people would need to feed. Also, it means that more food would be wasted (Chow, 2015). A type of food wasted described by The Swedish Institute for Food and Biotechnology (SIK) is “[p]ost-harvest handling  and  storage: including  losses  due  to  spillage  and  degradation  during  handling, storage and transportation between farm and distribution,” (The Swedish Institute for Food and Biotechnology).

However, today more people are taking the step to solve the problem of food wasted by vertical farming. It allows cities to become more sustainable and reliable in producing food locally. In Chicago Green Sense Farms, commercial grower,  produce fresh vegetables and herbs with LED grow lights. It is the bigger indoor commercial vertical farm that could produce fresh food all year-long.

Green Sense Farms addresses the big issue of unsustainable farming “[b]y combining towering racks of vertical hydroponic systems with Philips new “light recipe” LED grow lights, GSF is able to harvest its crops 26 times a year while using 85 percent less energy, 1/10th the amount of water, no pesticides or herbicides, and reducing the facility’s CO2 output by two tons a month. It even produces an average of 46 pounds of oxygen every day,” (Tarantola, 2014). In addition, Jackson, Wyoming is using the same method of vertical farms to grow their food locally by creating green hubs that allow to produce fresh produce year long.

Vertical farming is sustainable because it used less water, creates less waste and takes less space and most importantly it can be done in places where traditional agriculture would have been impossible. “We produce little waste, no agricultural runoff and minimal greenhouse gasses because the food is grown where it is consumed,” (Tarantola, 2014). Furthermore, vertical farming would give cities greater access to fresh food and less food wasted due to the decrease in the long-distance distribution. One of the annual goal for a sustainable city is “[t]he achievement of reduced resources and wastes whilst improving livability” (Newman, 1999) would be possible by this new evolution in vertical farming providing urban cities with a sustainable access to fresh food as well as food security in the future.

 

 

References

Chow, Lorraine (2015). “5 Ways Vertical Farms Are Changing the Way We Grow Food,” Ecowatch.com, Retrieved from http://ecowatch.com/2015/03/10/vertical-farms-grow-food/

Newman, Peter (1999). “Sustainability and cities: extending the metabolism model,” Retrieved from https://us130urbansustainability.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/newman-sus-cities-metabolism-model-1999.pdf

The Swedish Institute for Food and Biotechnology, Retrieved from http://www.fao.org/docrep/014/mb060e/mb060e01.pdf

Tarantola, Andrew (2014). “Chicago’s Huge Vertical Farm Glows Under Countless LED Suns,” Gizmodo.com Retrieved from http://gizmodo.com/chicagos-huge-vertical-farm-farm-glows-under-countless-1575275486

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One thought on “The Evolution of Vertical Farming

  1. This new vertical farming technology plays an important role in saving water, land, and space to plant vegetables and fruits. It is easier to handle and transport so that the food wastes could be largely reduced. The vertical farming could increase the harvest amount and number with no pesticides or herbicides. Without pesticides or herbicides, the vegetables and fruit become healthier for people. This technology could solve the food problem in the future.
    My only concern about this technology is whether vegetables and fruit harvested by this technology could be as nutritious and healthy as those from normal farming. This technology uses bulb lights to replace the sunshine. The bulb light may take effect and create the photosynthesis for plants. However, I still worry if they could take the same effect as the sunshine, the original power source of all species. Also, the electricity cost of those bulbs might increase the price of those vegetables and fruit. There are many examples in the past showing that when humans are eager for the speed and quantity, there must be some problems followed, like the genetically modified food.

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