Vertical Farming

Topics: Agriculture, Hydroponics, Vertical farming Pages: 4 (1414 words) Published: May 9, 2013
Vertical farming is cultivating plant or animal life within skyscrapers or on vertically inclined surfaces. The idea of a vertical farm has existed at least since the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. A vertical farm would be a large, independently operating structure centrally located in a major city. It would feature two multi-storey, skyscraper-like buildings working together- one to manage food production with nutrient film techniques, and another to manage waste through living machines and generate energy with photovoltaic cells and carbon sequestering. Popularized in recent years by Dr. Dickson Despommier, a professor at Columbia University, the concept originated in the 1950’s with a “Glass House” and has been further developed by several innovators over the years. Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA), which allows for control of temperature, pH, and nutrients, has also been employed in for many years in commercial greenhouses in order to produce crops unsuited for the local climate. Vertical farming system would use existing greenhouse technology to grow crops in city buildings while operating off the power grid. Dickson Despommier suggests starting with a five-storey prototype at an advanced agricultural school. In this system, no herbicides or pesticides are used to eliminate the contamination from agricultural runoff. LED (light-emitting diode) is used as interior lightning source that will supplement natural light and generate little heat. LED (light emitting diode) lights are programmed to deliver the wavelengths of light that plants prefer to create optimum growing conditions Plants would grow along the building’s south-facing sides to get maximum sunlight exposure. Solar panels that surround the building also provide extra power. Wind turbines which are installed at the top of the building will generate electricity to help power equipment. Vertical farm crops can be grown using hydroponics, where plants grow in water or a growing medium with...
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