Growing Food “Upwards”: More Effective than Regular Farming
Vertical Farming is the art of growing your food “upwards”, meaning less space, and possibly more productivity. Take into consideration a 10’ by 10’ lot; if you grow something that would take up a square foot of space, you could grow 100 of those plants, but what about the space on top of it? Vertical farming would increase the space for growing your plants without having to expand and buy more land.
It is a growing trend in agriculture and it’s making the names of numerous farms in America: Alegria Fresh in Irvine, California; Green Spirit Farms in New Buffalo, Michigan; FarmedHere in Bedford Park, Illinois, and Vertical Harvest in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Vertical farms are usually seen inside buildings and warehouses, as opposed to the regular farms that appear in rural areas in the city outskirts. It uses artificial lighting and most of the time hydroponics and yields faster than regular farming, cutting growing time to by a whopping 50 percent. This means freshness and convenience for consumers. But not all farms utilize hydroponics, some use aeroponics, like AeroFarms.
AeroFarms, a farm in Newark, New Jersey, hopes to celebrate its 10th anniversary by announcing its plans to create the largest vertical farm in the world. The project plans to utilize an old steel mill in the city’s Ironbound district as its base of operations.
The former steel mill spans 69,000 square feet of space, and is expected to produce up to 2 million pounds in arugula, kale, and other salad greens. Though the clients of the said projects are still undisclosed, AeroFarms said that the prices would be almost similar with the current products in store right now.
The agricultural industry never once looked at vertical farming as economically viable in the past. This was due to high maintenance costs due to power and industrial costs due to machinery. Thankfully, the technology nowadays offer better outputs on both aspects with the help of cheaper and more efficient technology like LEDs for lightning.