By ecohookups.com contributor: Ellen Marie Siloy
The idea of starting a farm in a limited amount of space is possible. Vertical farming can save a lot on space but not when it comes to power consumption. Traditional farming meant clearing out an entire forest just to get the widest space possible to plant on which is not that friendly at all to Mother Nature but of course the public needs to eat. Sacrifices had to be made. Today, vertical farming has solved that problem by constructing a skyscraper that will contain indoor farms instead of the usual office complex.
The sky is the limit and the higher you go the more you can plant. But of course you also need to provide a means for irrigation and lighting to get inside. Artificial lighting may compensate for sunlight but that already depends on how the engineers and botanists are going to figure that out. The main point of a vertical farm is to lessen the space requirement to build a farm while planting more. Another advantage of using vertical farms is the amount of protection it can bring to the plants inside. The plants are housed in a protective shelter so theoretically, these are more protected and therefore the use of insecticides and pesticides may not be a requirement. That’s a huge minus for expenses.
However, if farmers will use artificial lighting that also means you will have to pay for that added expense. You need to power the lighting system along with the water pumps to bring water up to the topmost level. Although an alternative is to install the water tanks on the roof and let gravity do its magic. And if there is anything that will eat up a lot of cash, it is really going to be the lighting because there is going to be a definite scarcity on sunlight so you need artificial lights to compensate.
So what other advantages do vertical farms have over traditional farming? First is on delivery of produce. You only need a limited amount of space therefore you can build it right in the middle of a populated area. You don’t to go out of the city hundreds of miles away to start a farm. As for that delivery, you can have the farm sitting right next to the supermarket. This reduces time fuel expenses on delivery and thus reducing the retail cost of the produce. The second advantage is also something we mentioned a while ago that added protection to the plants, which is still theoretical but it might work.
There are active vertical farms out there and hopefully, every city in the future can afford to build one or more to provide food to its own citizens.