Cities worldwide are only getting bigger. And as the population continues to skyrocket, we can expect even more complex problems to arise later down the road of this brand-new decade. As a result, nations and even the smallest of communities are each doing their part in achieving sustainability to combat growing demands and adapt to the changing world.
However, humankind has always been known to grit its teeth and bear its fangs when challenges arise, coming up with the smartest innovations when they are needed most. And on that note, we’d like to introduce you to a sustainable solution to urban living that has gone under people’s radar — vertical farms.
What Is A Vertical Farm?
As the name suggests, vertical farms refer to the method of growing crops and producing food on a vertically inclined surface, either stacked or in tower-like fashion, as opposed to just one level. And because of this type of structure, it utilizes more space and results in higher crop yield per unit area of land.
Furthermore, instead of using traditional methods, vertical farming features a hydroponics or aeroponics system for growing plants. It’s also equipped with controlled environment technologies to provide the most optimal conditions that will result in more crop output even with limited space.
What Are The Benefits?
Essentially, vertical farms are the perfect blend of modern technology with food production and agriculture. It takes the best of both worlds, puts them together, and provides us a solution for the following:
- Urban Farming: Urban centers and bustling cities source their food from faraway places, and vertical farms help alleviate that stress by improving the concept of urban farming. Since vertical farms can take any shape and adapt to any building, they can exist anywhere inside the city. It will provide urban centers with an alternative source of fresh food and make them more sustainable.
- Year-Round Crop Production: Crop failures happen, and supply chain problems are inevitable, especially during this pandemic. However, vertical farms can help address this issue because they can provide year-round crop production. They are not tied down to the changing weather and climate because of their controlled environments, which means they can yield crops autonomously.
- Saves Water: Traditional farming methods that encompass vast fields for agriculture take up land and require comprehensive irrigation systems that expense a lot of water. In contrast, vertical farms rely on aeroponics and hydroponics systems for nutrient sustenance and use much less water.
Why Should You Care?
In the grand scheme of things, we understand that vertical farms carry many benefits that many cities need right now. However, even on a micro-scale, an individual like yourself can stand to benefit plenty from vertical farms, and here’s why:
#1 Efficient And Responsive Source of Food
We all desire efficiency and responsiveness, and whether you’re contacting a maritime staffing agency or tapping away at the app store, you want things to be quick and smooth. The same concept applies to vertical farms, and if more cities adapted them, this would ensure that your local grocery store and supermarket are always in stock with fresh veggies.
On top of that, vertical farms have far greater flexibility and control when it comes to growing crops, which means you might even find newer and tastier selections available in your market. Plus, local businesses and restaurants can tap into this source of raw ingredients, increasing the value everywhere overall.
#2 Eco-Friendly and Smart Investments
We talk a lot about startup businesses and making smart investments, and if there’s one thing you want in a company, it should solve a problem. And if we look at vertical farms, they meet that criterion exceptionally and can even offer more onto the table.
Owning a vertical farm lets you partner with your local businesses, and they’ll look nowhere else for ingredients but you because (1) you’re nearer, (2) competitive prices, and (3) can instantly provide during unexpected moments. Your state might also offer incentives for sustainable farming, which gives you an edge over other companies.
And, above all, a vertical farm is an eco-friendly investment that sets you and everywhere around you on the right track towards significant change.
Of course, vertical farms aren’t without their faults, and we also need to address the potential downsides that they might carry. And while the pros far outweigh the cons, we should always look at things objectively:
- Limited Crop Selection: While vertical farms can yield plenty, current technology is restricted to leafy greens, which means plants that require traditional farming methods won’t be available. Vertical farms can’t act as a primary source of food and can only function as an alternative to supplement.
- Startup Costs: If you’re looking to invest in a vertical farm, startup costs can be rather expensive and tedious to deal with. Apart from looking for a building, designing your vertical farm system is another expense that will require time, effort, and money.
A Challenge Worth Taking
Taking everything into consideration, we still firmly believe that vertical farms are a step in the right direction towards sustainable living for all. And despite the challenges you might face in the process, we think it is worthwhile to start making a change.