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Date: 05.11.2017

Down on the Farm (1920)

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Please use the hashtags feedingthecity buildingthefuture if you want. Thanks for taking your time, and please get back to me with any questions you might have. It is likely that these two entities will establish themselves as major players in the indoor farming industry over the next few years.

Europe has recently experienced a significant amount of activity in the establishment of CEA facilities, as well. INFARM is a vertical farm located in Berlin with big ambitions, and they are well on their way to achieving their goal.

Their slogan says it all: Food on demand is their ultimate goal, and with the help of the German government, including assistance from the German Space Agency, they may just get their wish. In fact, there are currently so many VF startups that a shortage of qualified workers is now the main impediment to accelerating the establishment of new indoor farms. To address the labor shortage issue, The University of Arizona Center for Controlled Agriculture is in the midst of establishing an experimental vertical farm in association with the defunct Biosphere 2 complex.

Gene Giacomelli and Murat Kacia will serve as its co-directors. The training center will ultimately serve as a nexus for graduate research aimed at improving technologies that further the development of indoor agriculture. Other universities have also established research programs in vertical farming e. The city of Shanghai has embraced CEA as a major part of part of its long-term solution to insuring a sustainable, healthy food supply.

City planners have let it be known that Shanghai will become the epicenter for creating a cadre of indoor farmers by constructing a comprehensive training center designed by Sasaki Architects in the newly industrialized Sunqiao Urban Agricultural District along the banks of the Yinjiabank Canal.

Over the next ten years or so, I have every reason to anticipate, given the rapid growth of the concept of vertical farming, that Vfs will become a part of the skyline of most large cities, world-wide.

When that becomes the norm, our grandchildren will live in a world that provides them and their families with a reliable, safe, abundant, varied food supply, and at the same time, allowing them to enjoy the beauty and wonder of a restored natural environment. The process of re-wilding has begun!

Forget that I have written about this concept ad nauseam, and in much detail in my book, The Vertical Farm. In fact, I have only ever given one reply to that question. A vertical farm is nothing more complex in concept than a high-tech greenhouse that is stacked on top of itself, transforming it into a multi-storey growing space. Certain single-storey buildings also meet that criteria, as well, but are not divided inside to reflect floors.

For example, some re-purposed warehouses with inside growing spaces that frequently exceed 30 feet in height also count as vertical farms for examples see: Single-floor buildings with a ceiling height of feet are greenhouses, regardless of what goes on inside them.

They have been around a long time, and while the strategies for growing indoor crops have evolved, many into to multi-layered systems e. I do not include any version of them in my vertical farm concept. The vertical farm concept is about maximizing plant density to enable large numbers of people living in the built environment access to healthy, fresh vegetables year-round that are herbicide and pesticide-free.

Skyscraper apartment buildings allow us to live comfortably in densely-populated urban settings. Vertical farms need to address the same density issue regarding how much of the edible plants we consume can be grown within the urban environment. Oh, and by the way, when the first skyscraper was proposed, it was accompanied by much controversy as to what actually constituted a skyscraper.

Down on the Farm (1920 film) - Wikipedia

OK, my definition of a vertical farm sounds easy enough to get your head around, but some may still have trouble distinguishing between a vertical farm and farming vertically inside a one storey structure.

A brief history of space flight might help by analogy to eliminate any remaining confusion as to what I mean by the term vertical farm. We played around with them a while and got the feel of how to do rocketry before setting our sights on going to the moon.

It was obvious that a one-stage rocket, no matter how big, was not going to do the job. The entire world was watching when, on July 20, Neil Armstrong stepped off the lunar lander module and into the history books.

So, how does this example apply to the vertical farm concept, and why do I insist on multi-storey greenhouses? You might still ask: In my view, the answer is still an emphatic no! Greenhouses do not achieve the plant densities needed to supply food for the millions of city dwellers that go to bed hungry each night, or for those that are actually starving. Insinuating hyper-dense food production facilities inside the city limits or just outside them is a game-changer, and if employed world-wide, would alter forever the way we access our food supply.

Vertical farms offer the promise of finally being able to free up large swaths of land from traditional, soil-based agricultural practices, allowing abandoned farmland to return to their original ecological function of providing ecosystem services that promote healthy lives for all living things on Earth, including us see: Sand County Almanac, by Aldo Leopold.

In my own book, I advocate for skyscraper farms. I hope this corrects some widely-held misconceptions and allows us to re-focus on the real reason why vertical farms are essential if we are to live balanced lives, and not, as we are still doing, continue to live at the expense of every other creature on our fragile planet. Confluence of Rio Negro and Amazon Rivers credit. You can go to this link at the specified time, or register at this link. With a growing world population, and shrinking space for growing crops, some argue that cities of the future must generate their own food supply.

Dickson is a futurist, and in this webinar he makes the case that urban agriculture can go vertical as well as horizontal. In this session Dickson reviews the state of play with vertical farm enterprises at scale and provides his perspective on progress.

March 10, I was about to give my rehearsal talk at a recent TEDx conference when a rather distinguished looking older woman another presenter at the same conference approached me, and with a stern facial expression that one could only interpret as constrained hostility, stared directly into my eyes and confronted me: She stopped just short of poking her index finger deeply into my chest as she ranted.

Having finished her tersely delivered directive, she pivoted smartly in military fashion and walked off into the empty darkened auditorium to await her turn at our practice session. I barely had the opportunity to thank her for being so forthright, candid, and above all fearless about expressing her opinion of urban agriculture, and in specific for my role in propagating enthusiasm for it.

Instead, I went on about the business at hand and gave my eighteen minutes on the virtues of urban agriculture and the role that vertical farming might play in its development. It occurred to me upon much reflection that what she really might have meant to say was that vertical farming will never be able to replace outdoor farming so why bother trying. In her own talk, she spoke passionately of the population explosion and too many mouths to feed, but did not expound even a little as to what she might want do to alleviate the situation.

Her primary concern appeared to be about her newly arrived grandchild and the depressing future it and the next few generations of humans will have to face. Her message was not dissimilar from that of Al Gore or James Lovelock as to the state of the planet; lots of depressing data and no apparent solutions on the horizon.

Vertical Farm — Feeding the World in the 21st Century

In all my experience as a public speaker I do not recall ever having expressed the idea that vertical farming should replace all outdoor farming as the only solution to the ills of the world. Nonetheless, I think that was her take on what I was all about. Suffice it to say that since then I have endeavored to give better reasons for insinuating agriculture into the build environment.

Lets begin the argument in favor of urban agriculture by admitting that cities are the main reason we are in such a bad state of affairs with respect to rapid climate change and its deleterious effects on traditional agriculture.

In for example, the United States lost some billion dollars worth of grain crops due to a protracted drought throughout the American Midwest. Unless a miracle happens, it appears almost certain that the state of California will be the next victim of drought in This could affect virtually every US citizen, with significantly higher food prices and may even affect food availability, as well.

Nearly fifty percent of us now live in cities. Seven billion people require farmland equivalent in landmass to the size of South America. This calculates out to an astounding 6,, square miles! That means that cities need some 3,, square miles of land to satisfy their daily caloric needs. From s to the present, the Brazilian rainforest has been negatively impacted by encroachment, mainly for the sake of agriculture, sacrificing some , square miles of hardwood forest for farmland to feed its own growing population.

Hm, you might say. But the built environment need not shoulder the entire burden of food production for there to be real hope for straightening out the mess we have made for ourselves. If cities produced just ten percent of the ground crops they currently consume, by employing sustainable indoor vertical farms and greenhouses to do so, then nearly half of the damaged portion of the Brazilian rainforest could theoretically be restored , square miles worth and a significant amount of carbon would be sequestered as the result.

This calculation is based on the fact that indoor farming is carried out year round and is over ninety percent efficient at producing food crops. By the way, outdoor farming is, at best, only fifty percent successful insect pests, plant diseases, adverse weather conditions and can only occur at temperatures that consistently average 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Enabling cities to be productive centers for locally grown vegetables, herbs, and fruits, might be all that is needed to turn the corner to a more sustainable future.

Ultimately, I strongly believe that we should work towards the creation of eco-cities that mimic in every way the functions necessary for sustaining an intact ecosystem, using our creative intellects and cutting-edged technologies to get the job done. Primary productivity is an essential feature of all ecosystems, so why not start with this activity as the basis for creating the eco-city?

Today, it is easy to do, witness all the new varieties of vertical farms and rooftop greenhouses going up inside the built environment. Called Farmed Here, it is designed to occupy the full extent of the indoor space of that facility — , sq. It currently produces oodles of tasty leafy greens basil, arugula, etc.

A similar energy scheme will soon be employed by the highly successful vertical farm The Plant, located in the heart of the abandoned stockyards district of Chicago and run by John Edel and colleagues. Bloomberg Weekly News in January of declared that vertical farming would be a sound small business investment for the near future images. A recent workshop I attended in Berlin, organized and sponsored by a branch of the German government exploring the prospects of federal funding for the developmeynt of vertical farms, attests to the fact that some countries Korea, Japan, China, Germany are getting wise to the fact that vertical farms may be the answer to many environmental issues, such as a rising atmospheric temperature and an out-of-control climate regime.

Meanwhile, back in the U.

The U.S. Economy in the 1920s

Gotham Greens, a commercially successful high-tech 2, sq ft. This would naturally lead to the emergence of a friendly competition between The Big Apple and The Second City in promoting vertical farming as an integral part of all urban agricultural initiatives.

Newest Kids On The Block February 23, With the advent of the first commercial examples of vertical farms now up and running, the vertical farm industry is now officially a reality. Over the last two years, it has emerged into the light of day from its virtual womb, the internet, and has taken its first deep breaths. Vertical farming is now in the earliest stage of its growth and development, a place comparable to all the other industries that preceded it, beginning with the very first ones that appeared on the scene in Manchester, England at the beginning of the industrial revolution.

Like all the others, the vertical farm industry will undoubtedly undergo remarkable evolutionary changes over the next few years, but in a more rapid and streamlined fashion than its immediate predecessor, the high tech greenhouse industry. This is due largely to the advent of sophisticated computer-controlled indoor environments hydroponic nutrient delivery systems, efficient, spectrum-specific LED grow lights, innovative, energy-saving HVAC systems, etc.

Examples of vertical farms can now be found all over the globe. Here, then, are the newest kids on the block. The island country of Singapore announced last month that a commercial version of a vertical farm was now in operation Sky Greens — skygreens. It is a four-story, transparent structure fitted with A-frame growing systems that produce leafy green vegetables. It uses sunlight as a source of energy, and captured rainwater to drive a clever pulley system to move the plants on the grow racks, ensuring an even distribution of sunlight for all the plants.

It produces three products; arugula, basil, and sweet basil vinaigrette. It is outfitted with an innovative growing platform system Verticrop: There are some fifty of these indoor vegetable farms spread out over most of the country e.