It’s not difficult to decipher what Vertical Farming could possibly mean. It’s the production of food in vertically stacked layers. CRAZY right?! Vertical farming, vertical production. Woah. From production in urban warehouses scattered throughout Pennsylvania to production in high-rises in Singapore, vertical farming is the start of a food revolution.
Conventional farming systems bring us fruits and vegetables seasonally, but have dangerous repercussions on our environment as well as our bodies. These large scale systems are required to rapidly overproduce for the masses, delivering food with less quality at higher quantities. The soil on these large scale farms suffer tremendously from the extensive use of pesticides, fertilizers and external energy inputs. Not to mention the amount of labor required to seed, plant and pick from the fields. In a time where we are threatened with extreme water scarcity, conventional farming systems overuse surface and groundwater for irrigation and growth.
“Of the less than 1 percent of freshwater available for human use, a whopping 70 percent goes toward growing food and raising animals.”
This modern idea of vertical farming uses controlled environment agriculture which yields several benefits. Vertical farming firms are able to produce crops year-round, reduce the use of fossil fuels since machines to transport crops are not required, and water is recycled from vertical layer to vertical layer, leaving neither soil nor water unused. Since these firms grow their crops indoors, extreme weather has no direct effect on the lifecycle of their crops growth, and neither do insects or pesticides. This allows vertical farms to grow quality foods with the possibility to recycle nutritious soil and water.
Vertical farming has also begun trending in the DIY world, allowing households to grow their own fruits and vegetables while also recycling water and soil. Whether you want to get crafty and build your own planter box, or purchase one pre built through Sears, Lowe’s, Target or Williams- Sonoma, anyone can farm vertically at home so long as you can plenty of sunlight and enough water!