With a constantly growing world population, it’s becoming increasingly important to find ways to grow enough food to feed the masses. Alternatives to traditional agriculture are sought to minimize land and water use, while still producing enough food to feed the world population. Vertical farming has emerged as an innovative solution to grow crops year round.
Vertical farming changes the traditional definition of agriculture by moving farming indoors and maximizing space through layered elevation growing. Our perceptions of farming bring to mind visions of sprawling rural fields filled with crops of your favorite vegetables. Vertical farming aims to change that vision. By implementing vertical farming techniques, it’s possible to get farm fresh veggies grown in the heart of New York City. While the vision seems hard to imagine, it’s possible with vertical farming.
What is Vertical Farming?
Vertical farming involves vertically stacked layers of crops grown in a controlled environment. These facilities can control light, humidity, fertilization and water usage. By utilizing alternative growing systems, such as hydroponics, aeroponics and hydro-aero hybrids, many different crops can grow vertically without the need for soil.
Advantages of Vertical Farming
- Creates more farmable land
- Cuts back on transportation costs and carbon-dioxide emissions associated with moving food long distances
- Reduces spoilage that can occur
- Helps prepare for future increases in the world’s population
- Year-round growing allows for increased crop production
- Helps protect crops from weather-related problems
- Allows farmland to return to its natural state
- Halts the extinction of land animals
- Prevents destruction of forests near urban centers to provide food for people
- Decreases agricultural water consumption
- Easily allows for an organic approach to farming
- Grow in-demand agricultural crops year round despite changes in weather
Alternative to Traditional Agriculture
Because vertical farming uses hydroponic, aeroponic and hydro-aero hybrid systems, water conservation is a huge benefit. As water scarcity increases, it’s important to use growing systems that reduce water consumption by recycling and reusing. Hydroponics, aeroponics and hydro-aero hybrid systems all use far less water than traditional agriculture and all help in conserving drinking water.
A Look Into the Future
Vertical farming places the production of food closer to consumers, which reduces transportation costs, spoilage and decreases carbon-dioxide emissions. When trying to keep pace with the present and future of food production demands, the sustainability of vertical farming reigns as one of its biggest advantages.
As we look ahead to a growing world population and the demand for more food globally, vertical farming stands out as a viable and innovative option for year-round growing.