“V” is for Vertical Farming

The problem: By 2050, it is predicted that the earth will no longer have enough land to sustain a growing human population.

The solution: Vertical farming.

Vertical farming is exactly what it sounds like: Farming, but up. Farming has always been measured by acres of land, but this method measures in much smaller increments, and they aren’t always on the ground. In order to maximize space in an increasingly industrial world with a growing population, vertical farming is a promising fix to feed the world even with smaller areas of land to do it. (US Edition)

How is it the solution?

Recent studies have shown that vertical farming uses 70 to 95 percent less water and over 90 percent less land while harvesting 80 percent more per unit area, when compared to traditional crops. (State of the Planet)

If it’s the solution, then why isn’t it everywhere?

The idea of vertical farming is still relatively new. The first big push towards this new style of farming came when The Vertical Farm was published in 2010. Since then, companies across the world have invested money and time into perfecting how crops can be grown with minimal to zero soil or natural sunlight, and tiered up in rows in buildings. A few businesses have since declared bankruptcy, casting some doubt on the long-term possibilities of vertical farming, but many steadfast believers continue to vouch for it.
“[Philips and General Electric] wouldn’t invest hundreds of millions of dollars [in vertical farming] if they thought it was a trend that would fade out,” said Maximilian Loessl, the vice chair of the Association for Vertical Farming, “I think it is here to stay. We’re just at the very, very beginning of really seeing the potential it has.” (Huffington Post)

If vertical farming sounds exciting to you as a citizen of a metropolitan area or a lover of agriculture and innovative technology, check out Inhabitat or ATTRA for more information.