Sourced from Eco Warrior Princess
Also known as indoor farming, vertical farming has in recent years gained recognition as a solid method of sustainability. The system was born out of the challenges affecting the 21st century, specifically issues like food shortage, resource depletion, and overpopulation.
Feeding the future: vertical farming
Vertical farming is the practice of food production that takes the form of vertically stacked layers and vertically inclined surfaces. The method is executed inside a controlled environment building, usually without soil or natural light.
The method of growing the crops in a vertical farm involves the following elements.
- Temperature control
- Humidity control
- Artificial lighting
- Control and monitoring of nutrients and fertiliser
When undertaking vertical agriculture as a small to medium business, planning is essential. You need to ensure that you can sell what you grow, and that your production costs are not too high. The first step to ensuring this, therefore, is picking the right crops.
The aspiring vertical farmer needs to conduct a feasibility study and come up with a profitable and sustainable plan. This is because each species you plan to grow will have a growing method tailored to its needs. Determining the daily nutrient and light uptake each crop requires is crucial.
The indoor farm represents significant benefits to the consumer as it increases food accessibility. Because farms can be located anywhere, more people can start growing their own crops. Production then moves closer to the consumer, and farms are able to produce consistent value and volume year-wide. Currently, building-based and shipping container vertical farms are the most common.
How does indoor farming work?
There are several key factors that determine the viability of a vertical farm.