Vertical farms are multistoried buildings that are designed for growing food without using up too much space and natural resources. Almost all the vertical farms have a hydroponic system where the same water gets circulated, thus reducing water use by a great percentage. Many have artificial lighting systems, while some are designed as greenhouses so as to receive natural sunlight. This method of growing food has been getting more and more popular. In the well-off countries, people have already adopted the practice of Vertical Farming at Home, as it produces lesser waste, can be managed efficiently and also leave a lesser footprint on the environment. Discussed below are five ways in which vertical farming is changing the way we grow food.
This may be actually the best thing about practicing Vertical Farming at Home. Since food is grown inside a totally walled building, there is no chance of the crops getting affected by harsh weather. This also allows the farmers to keep a close eye on their produce and control the growing conditions in a desired way. Hence, this allows for growing off seasonal crops and even those crops that are otherwise not suited to the outside climate.
In the wake of the disarming rate of global warming, Vertical Farming at Home may actually be a major solution for saving the environment. There have been newer and more advanced methods of vertical farming, which are much more sustainable as compared to traditional farming. One such method is the Aquaponics where some catfish is left in a pool directly above which the crops are planted. These fish feed on the waste matter that comes from the crops while the crops take nutrition from the waste matter left by the fishes. Hence nothing is left for waste; both the fishes and the crops give financial returns.
Adapt to disaster
Vertical farming is even more promising for its ability to adapt to disasters. When the outside conditions are left unaccountable for farming, farming can be safely practiced in the sterilized indoor conditions. This could potentially make vertical farming the most reliable practice for feeding the future generations. A great example of this can be cited in Japan, where the plant physiologist Shigeharu Shimamura converted an old abandoned semiconductor factory into one of the biggest vertical farms.
As discussed in the point 2 above, there are other advanced technologies that encourage the use of minimal water and nutrients to grow food, thus producing lesser waste. Hydroponics is one of the advanced methods where the nutrients and the water are directly sprayed onto the roots in the form of a mist to enhance absorption. Then there are methods that use troughs with running water mixed with nutrients. These troughs are interconnected, thus optimizing water use.
The plants can be treated according to convenience
Vertical Farming at Home allows for controlled conditions that can be easily monitored so as to shield all the disease causing factors and contaminants. This even makes an excellent option for growing medicinal plants that could be used in vaccines.