Vertical farming is the practice of growing food in vertically stacked layers. Quite often vertical farming happens indoors, such as in a warehouse or greenhouse; the modern concept of vertical farming uses Controlled-Environment Agriculture (CEA) technology. CEA facilities control humidity, temperature, irrigation, nutrients delivery, artificial lighting, etc.
Also, quite often vertical farming grows plants without soil by using hydroponics or aeroponics methods. These, rely on water or mist to deliver nutrients rather than soil. In hydroponic methods, the plants’ roots may be exposed only to the mineral solution or they can be supported by an inert substrate.
Regardless of the particularities, vertical farming aims to produce nutrients-rich and pesticide-free crops all year round at a much higher yield per area than conventional agriculture, and in a sustainable way.
Evergreen Farm has addressed major issues concerning energy efficiency, humidity, maximum space utilization, etc. and designed the most efficient vertical farming system in existence; called the Grow360 system.
Advantages of Vertical Farming
1. Year-round crop production.
2. Protection from harsh weather conditions.
3. No pesticides, no herbicides and no insects.
4. Reduced or eliminated spoilage of food since transportation distances are decreased and produce will be consumed shortly after harvest.
5. May reduce the use of fossil fuels. By decreasing or eliminating the use of hydrocarbons needed for transportation, farm equipment or fertilizer production.
6. Eliminates the need to transform the natural land into farmland.
7.Eliminates agricultural runoff.
8. Makes use of abandoned or unused properties.
9. Increases cities' resilience. Creates new urban employment opportunities
10. 95% less water usage than regular farming with solutions for water recycling.
Land in urban areas is higher than in rural areas. Building acquisition may require an initial investment. Some stackable structures and the environment control systems are costly.
High Energy Consumption
Vertical Farming requires energy for lighting, heating, ventilation and electrical systems.
Only a small variety of vegetables and fruits are currently grown in vertical farms
Pollination in an insect-free environment requires labor.
Need of Qualified Workers
CEA facilities require a diversity of human capital, such as electrical and mechanical engineers, biologists, horticulturists, data scientists, food safety experts, growers, etc.
Need for Urban Farming Regulations
Most cities do not have appropriate regulations in place, as vertical farming is an emerging industry.