Vertical Farms: The Future of Urban Farming?

Vertical farm designs by Chris Jacobs (Credit: The Earth Institute)

“To feed the growing and increasingly urban global population of 9 billion expected by 2050, we need to boost food production by 70 percent through higher crop yields and expanded cultivation. “

In New York City, urban farming is becoming a prominent idea for the production of food in industrialized cities. We’re already home to the biggest rooftop farm in the country but now, vertical farms could become the new thing

According to a post in the State of the Planet blog, Dickson Despommier, a professor of environmental health studies at Columbia University, came up with the idea of vertical farming in 1999.

A vertical farm is a multi-story building growing layers of crops on each floor where crops can be grown using hydroponics. The most commonly grown crops in vertical farms are lettuce, leafy greens, herbs, strawberries and cucumbers.

Ten years ago, the idea was shrugged off by people who didn’t believe the concept was possible. Nevertheless, today, vertical farms are popping up all over the world including in Japan and Holland.

In the United States, Big Box Farms is a hybrid vertical farm in New York City, growing salad greens inside a one-story industrial warehouse, and both Seattle and Chicago are expecting the completion of their very own vertical farms in the following years.

If the trend continues, vertical farming could potentially become a primary source of food for big cities.

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