I’m sure you’ve heard of vertical farming before, but I bet the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the term is “oh, these folks have lost their minds and must have come up with some bizarre idea.”
What Is It and How Does It Work?
The term appears to be gaining popularity and attention in the media recently. So, what is it exactly? Vertical farming (also known as urban or indoor) is the practice of cultivating plants (typically food) in vertical layers. The entire manufacturing process may potentially be done indoors, under controlled conditions (ie. indoors and vertical).
This allows growers to increase the amount of food produced per square foot of land, lowering the cost of fresh produce for consumers. Because most products may be sold within walking distance of where it was grown, vertical farms help reduce the energy necessary for transportation and refrigeration.
Advantages and disadvantages
Ten reasons why vertical farming is the best.
Compared to regular agriculture, has numerous advantages:
- Vertical farms use less land than typical farms. This means fewer habitat degradation and deforestation.
- Food transportation expenses and carbon emissions from long-distance food shipment are reduced.
- Because no insects can thrive indoors, it reduces the need for insecticides.
- Produces fresh, nutritious, and chemical-free local organic food.
- Reduces the risk of infections including salmonella and E. coli contamination.
- Vertical farming is a sustainable way to grow food.
- It’s environmentally friendly.
- Vertical farming uses 90% less water than conventional agriculture and produces more food in the same amount of space as traditional farming.
- You can grow all year, even when other farmers are inactive in the winter.
- You can produce multiple crops at the same time.
Vertical farming at home
Vertical farming is an alternative if you want to get more produce out of your tiny space. Growing your own food is one of the most effective ways to ensure a healthy diet for you and your family. However, in a city, it can be difficult to find space for a garden. You might not have access to an outside area or wish to grow food without worrying about pests.
Hanging planters, vertical planters, and hydroponic systems are all examples of vertical gardens accessible today. There’s no excuse not to give it a shot with so many possibilities!
Types of vertical farms
Vertical farming can take numerous forms, but they all have one thing in common: they all involve growing food indoors.
The following are some of the most common vertical farming techniques:
Aquaponic Vertical Farming
Aquaponics is becoming increasingly popular in agriculture. It provides a more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional farming by allowing farmers to grow crops without the use of soil or sunshine.
Vertical aquaponic farming provides the same benefits as standard aquaponics, but at a higher efficiency.
Hydroponic Vertical Farming
Vertical hydroponic farming is not a brand-new concept. Although the technology has been present for hundreds of years, it was just recently made commercially available. Most commercial hydroponics enterprises were once small-scale operations conducted by hobbyists or backyard gardeners who sought to produce their own food without using soil as a base.
The fundamental advantage of hydroponics is its capacity to grow vast quantities of crops in a little amount of area. The disadvantage is that, because they are cultivated indoors, they require artificial lighting and temperature controls to mimic sunshine and seasons. This problem has been modified by recent developments in LED grow lights and climate control systems.
Crops are grown on a small scale in urban locations such as backyards, rooftops, and balconies in this sort of vertical farming. Homesteads make use of empty space at home to give low-cost fresh vegetables to their families.
Most profitable crops for vertical farming
Which crops are best for vertical farming?
Vegetables, lettuce, carrots, radish, turnip roots, pepper, and tomatoes are the ideal crops for vertical gardening.
The most prevalent crops grown on vertical farms are vegetables. These plants are simple to cultivate and harvest rapidly. On a vertical farm, vegetables require little room to grow and maybe piled on top of one another. Farmers will be able to cultivate more veggies in less space as a result of this.
Modern methods of growing crops
Wheat, rice, corn, soybeans, and cotton are the main crops produced by modern agriculture. Cereal grains or cereals are what they’re called. Potatoes, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and bananas are among the other crops grown.
Irrigation systems to hydrate the plants, artificial fertilizers to supply nutrients to the soil, and pesticides to eliminate undesired weeds and insects that might destroy crops are the major ways utilized in modern agriculture to cultivate these crops.
Crop production has improved with the development of modern agricultural technologies.
Tractors and other heavy machinery have also enhanced agricultural output by allowing farmers to cultivate their land more efficiently without having to rely only on physical labor. Tractors can drag plows or other equipment across fields faster than people can, allowing for more area to be tilled in less time than ever before.
Final thoughts on vertical farming technology
Vertical farms can be built closer to where the majority of people live, lowering transportation costs and carbon emissions associated with transporting food over vast distances by truck or plane. Furthermore, most vertical farms are powered by renewable energy sources like solar or wind power or even geothermal energy in Iceland! fewer fossil fuels are utilized in food transportation.
As our population rises, food shortages are likely to become more prevalent, and climate change will likely make it more difficult for farmers to cultivate crops where they are today. Vertical farming can help fulfill rising demand by allowing more individuals to grow food near to consumers who desire organic products without using valuable acreage or emitting greenhouse emissions from transit.