By 2050, the world’s population is expected to grow by another 2 billion people, and feeding it will be a huge challenge. Due to industrial development and urbanization, we are losing arable lands every day. Increasing food demand due to a growing population along with ever decreasing arable lands poses one of the greatest challenges facing us. Let’s find out if vertical farming can be the answer to this challenge.
Vertical farming is the practice of producing food on vertically inclined surfaces. Instead of farming vegetables and other foods on a single level, such as in a field or a greenhouse, this method produces foods in vertically stacked layers commonly integrated into other structures like a skyscraper, shipping container or repurposed warehouse.
Here listed are some significant advantages of vertical farming
- Increased and Year-round Crop Production.
Vertical farming largely avoids disruptions due to weather. Indoor Vertical gardens are protected from extreme weather, such as rain, monsoons, hailstorms, tornadoes, floods, drought, and wildfires.
Indoor vertical farming also protects plants from extreme heat and cold. This means that vertical farmers are not limited by frost dates or other weather events when planting their crops.
The indoor temperature can be adjusted to fit any stage of plant development, from seed germination to ripening of fruit. Humidity can also be controlled, which ensures successful seed germination and productive pollination.
Light levels can also be controlled with automated artificial lighting. Water levels are also easy to control, making irrigation much simpler. As a result, flooding or drought outside has no effect on plants inside a vertical garden.
- Vertical Farming Prevents Pests and Diseases.
Vertical farming makes pest infestations much less likely. As long as there are strict controls on what is allowed into a vertical farm, pests can be avoided.
Fewer pests and easier control mean that growers can also avoid using pesticides. This makes it easier to produce fruits and vegetables free of pesticides & fertilizers with vertical farming. Costs for fresh produce should decrease as vertical farming takes hold.
Since vertical farms use soilless growing techniques, there is also much less chance of diseases spreading through the soil.
Many plant diseases survive in soil over the winter and infect the next year’s crops. However, this problem is eliminated in vertical farms that use hydroponics, aquaponics, or aeroponics.
- Reduces Transportation Cost.
Since vertical farming takes up less space than traditional farming, it is becoming more feasible to build vertical farms in or near large cities. This reduces the time it takes to transport produce from farms to grocery stores.
Traveling shorter distances to transport produce will also save energy (fuel costs) and labor costs (drivers). In addition, it will prevent food waste, since less produce will be damaged or spoiled during transport.
Of course, short distances from vertical farms to cities means that self-driving trucks will have a much easier time navigating shipping route. This will further decrease labor costs for these vertical farms.
- Vertical Farming Conserves Resources.
Vertical farms that use hydroponics, aquaponics, or aeroponics conserve water when compared to traditional soil farming methods. For example, hydroponics uses 13 times less water than traditional soil farming, while aquaponics uses 90% less water than traditional farming.
Vertical farming uses no fertilizer than traditional farming. For one thing, there is no need to worry about runoff of soil and nutrients due to flooding. As a result, no fertilizer will be lost due to leaching or erosion.
Also, computer systems can predict the precise amount of nutrients that plants need and when they will need them. This further reduces waste due to inefficient irrigation or fertilization.
In addition, vertical farms can save on labor and machine costs. Since there is no soil involved with many of these systems, there is no need to till the earth or transport compost, manure, and other soil amendments.
The work of raising and harvesting plants in vertical farms is fairly repetitive. As a result, this work is ripe for automation by machines in the near future.
- Vertical Farming Saves Space
The idea of modern vertical farming was proposed in 1999 by Professor Dickson Despommier of Columbia University. The idea was to build a skyscraper farm that could feed 50,000 people.
Recent advances such as efficient lighting, soilless growing, and systems automation have increased vertical farming crop yields to 10 times that of traditional farming!
As a result, it takes a much smaller plot of land to grow the same amount of food as a traditional farm. This is important in and around large cities, where land and buildings are expensive and open space is rare.
Taking up less space for growing also means that vertical farming has a lower impact on plants and animals in local ecosystems.
Thus, vertical farming has great advantages and is proven to be beneficial for environment and humankind. Adopting vertical farming can be a healthy practice and fruitful to save resources for future generations.
We have made vertical farming easier for you by providing you suitable products to start vertical farming at home or even to create an urban farm in your city.
Little Farm: Indoor Vertical Farm
Little Farm is a complete, automated vertical farming hydroponic solution providing safe, fresh and consistent farm to table produce at maximum yield with minimum costs. Its modular design lets you create custom growth options for a variety of plant types efficiently, without the need for intense user intervention. The recirculating irrigation system not only saves water, but also provides a cleaner and hygienically safer growth environment that minimizes the chances of contamination or unwanted algae growth.
Safe, simple and tasty – Little Farm brings freshness to your table.
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