Vertical Farming

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Vertical farming is a new model of agriculture which must be turned into reality in order to feed the extra 3 billion people expected to swell the world’s ranks by the year 2050. With the unmanageable growth in global population, horizontal farming is estimated to require an extra area larger than Brazil to feed the additional 3 billion.


[edit] Why should I be aware of this?

Urban population is increasing by the day and it is estimated that by 2050 over 80 percent of the population will reside in the urban areas. This migratition is caused mainly by economic reasons. When cities flourish the promise of jobs and comfort, glamour and glitter attract people from the rural areas to the cities.

[edit] How does this affect me?

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Vertical farming is believed to possess not only the potential to help solve impending Food Crisis, but could also help break the transmission cycle of diseases in traditional agricultural settings.

With vertical farming we will have the following benefits:

  • Year round crop production in a controlled environment
  • All produce would be organic as there would be no exposure to wild parasites and bugs
  • Elimination of environmentally damaging agricultural runoff
In vertical farming there will be no fear of weather-related crop failure, no untreated animal waste to transfer disease, and less likelihood of genetically modified “rogue” strains entering the “natural” plant world.

As all food will be grown organically there will be no possibility of agricultural run-off as there would be no herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers.

[edit] Hear a pod

Green Roofs on Traydio

[edit] Vertical farming and environment

Among the major benefits of vertical farming is that eventually it will be able to return a significant portion of the earth’s farmland to the forests. This is believed to have a stabilizing influence on climate and weather patterns. Forests where crops are now cultivated will be allowed to regrow and carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere reduced drastically.

Though calculations are still speculative, it is believed that a single vertical farm could allow thousands of farmland acres to be permanently reforested. Some estimates, however, have been worked out from real-life instances: The owner of a strawberry farm in Florida built a hydroponic farm after it was wiped out in a hurricane. By stacking layers on top of each other in an indoor situation he is able to produce on one acre of land what used to require 30 acres.

[edit] All about vertical farming

Vertical farming involves growing staple crops in environment-friendly skyscrapers. It means a sophisticated irrigation system with a 30-storey glass building equipped with solar power within the heart of a city like New York. In the heart of urban settings, vertical farming will grow both crops and livestock, cutting out shipping costs and pollutions caused by movement of goods across countries.

Indoor farming is not a new concept as greenhouse-based agriculture has been in existence for some time. Japan, Scandinavia, New Zealand, the United States, and Canada have thriving greenhouse industries which produce crops round the year. But these are not done in multistorey buildings.

Vertical farming is the brainchild of Professor Despommier of Columbia University, who along with his students, developed on the existing greenhouse technology and are now convinced that vertical farms are a practical suggestion.

It is estimated that it would take a group of agricultural economists, architects, engineers, agronomists, and urban planners about ten years to figure out and implement this technology.

[edit] Can Feed 50,000 People

In an experiment carried out by researchers at Columbia University found that an eighteen storey city block can sustain a vertical farm which can feed 50,000 people. Over time it is possible to extend it to 30 stories and filled with automated feeders, monitoring devices and harvesting equipment.

A number of prototypes have been deswigned by architects for buildings tailored to New York and Toronto.

Such vertical structure projects will however require exorbitant as throughout the year the lower floor plants have to be fed with adequate artificial lights. Natural sunlight will have to be replaced with high-pressure sodium lights, resulting in enormous electric bills.

Energy would also come from a giant solar panels and incinerators which use the farm's waste products for fuel. All the water in the entire complex would be recycled.

Of course, certain amount of cost will be offset by way of cutting transport costs. And with demand for local food growing, vertical farms will turn out to be an ideal choice. Because vertical farms would exist in the communities they serve, crop selection could be altered to fit the local community.

[edit] Main Features

  • Solar Panels

Vertical farm’s energy will be mostly derived from solar power. The solar panels will rotate to follow the sun and would drive the interior cooling system when the external heat is at its greatest

  • Wind Spire

The wind spires are small windmills which use small blades to turn air upward. This will be used as an alternative to solar power.

  • Glass Panels

The glass panels will have a clear coating of titanium oxide which will not only collect pollutants but will also help rain water slide down the glass, maximizing the effects of the light

  • Control Room

The control room regulates the farm environment to maintain 24-hour crop cultivation all through the year.

  • Scientific architecture

Scientifically so designed that it allows maximum light to reach the center. Space is also most efficiently used.

  • Crops to be grown

The vertical farm could grow fruits, vegetables, grains, and even fish, poultry, and pigs

[edit] References:

  • Could vertical farming be the future
  • Vertical farming in the big Apple
  • Skyfarming
  • Vertical Farming - The future of agriculture?

[edit] Additional Information

  • To see designs visit Vertical Farms Project