Inside the Vertical Farm
Your guide to the automated farming technologies, lab-grown meat, glowing bacteria, and sewage-to-electricity converters that will help vertical farming take off
More Photo Galleries
Decades ago, I was excited about the idea of this type of farming. However, as the years passed, and I found that the only way to get a tomato with a good flavor was to put a plant outside in a pile of dirt, I gave up on the idea.
At the supermarket, 12 months of the year I can buy perfect looking tomatoes that have absolutely no flavor. If they can't grow a good tomato, I sure don't want to try their meat products.
I think that this is the way to farm the future, if they can just come up with the technology, and it looks like they already have, and the start up costs, then this is the way to feed our constantly growing planet.
Of course there are ideas like this all the time, what with flying cars and giant skyscrapers containing hundreds of thousands of people and calling it a city. Well, its a good thing that we have PPX!
Future Tech is a wonderful thing, it lets thousands of people stand around, hands in pockets, watching video games and playing gladiator sports. We still present a picture of abundant energy to power all this technology, flying cars , robotic servants doing dirty work. The best thing is to keep as many people engaged and working as possible. Forget the robots, let people work. Idle people create to many problems.
We should find out which crops grow best here, which grow better in dirt. There can't be one solution fits all. I see smaller people powered vertical farms, not owned or managed by conglomerates, perhaps mom and pop shops. Maybe a more practical approach is a grid of connected smaller towns and villages growing different, varied crops, no mono-cultures
Or how do I turn my present garage on my small city lot, into a greenhouse, with an efficient food producing unit, that I can own and control and supplement my family's needs.
Top down approaches, corporate strategies, they are killing us. Sometimes being green does not require technology at all.
I think if this CAN REDUCE WASTED SPACE and power itself, than why not. In these days, no good idea should go unexplored.
I wonder if cereal crops can be grown this way.Will they hire conventional farmers to run these things? This system is ideally suited to desert areas that get plenty of sun,or Africa,where pests of various kinds can be kept out.
It looks like something that will turn out to be a million dollar subsistance farm. These things are fun to consider but with something like 60,000 people starving to death a day it's no answer to the problems of feeding the planet. Maybe feeding a small rich percentage of the U.S. but that's hardly a 'real life' solution, or even much of a consideration. Maybe stop trying to use food to fuel your cars would benefit more people than star trek subsistance farms.
rnojonson, futuretech with robots doing the hard manual labor may not be a bad thing if we can correct our society to be more entrepreneurial and less dependent on an employer to give us a "job." If robots and computers took over the menial jobs we have now, human beings would find new needs to fill, and if they mobilized their fellow humans to find solutions to fill those needs, then there wouldn't be the idleness which you point out. The problem is the current education system does not reward original creative thought, nor does our society, except on extremely rare cases.
I'm all for doing more with less .... I guess there may also be some trade offs. Who will work these organizations / companies . Will the food be of a quality we like ? Will we put the regular farmer out of business ? Will we be made to move into new cultural systems in the future because this is where the food is ? As it stands now we can grow anything within reason in our own back yard . Will it one day be illegal ( for some reason, unknown) to grow our own foods? What would be the repercussion of of one day being forced into this type of food growth system (for any reason). This could have such a large and varied impact on all our life . I already live in a world where the kids are too idle, under educated and easily manipulated by the media system . Add to it all ,a system where the food system is controlled by a few groups or because the planet cannot handle the need and you now have a new system of control ( who's control? ) ....now I've turned conspiracy theorist . I just believe the whole system should be reduced down to the individual community market and done at a local level .