The Sky Is The Limit In Vertical Farming

 At Pop! Tech, Dickson Despommier, Phd, just delivered a presentation on vertical farming, a concept that brings agriculture back to cities, inside their buildings in fact.  

Now for those of us who went to college in the 70’s, when we think of growing things indoors, marijuana is the crop that usually comes to mind. But Dr. Despommier posits that many crops can be grown effectively and more efficiently indoors using hydroponics and other methods.


Some of the benefits listed on his Web site are:

Advantages of Vertical Farming


Year-round crop production; 1 indoor acre is equivalent to 4-6 outdoor acres or more, depending upon the crop (e.g., strawberries: 1 indoor acre = 30 outdoor acres)


No weather-related crop failures due to droughts, floods, pests


All VF food is grown organically: no herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers


VF virtually eliminates agricultural runoff by recycling black water


VF returns farmland to nature, restoring ecosystem functions and services


VF greatly reduces the incidence of many infectious diseases that are acquired at the agricultural interface


As I blog about this in “near real time,” I’ve just e-mailed a question asking about the cost of vertical farming vs traditional organic farming.


Obviously, large vertical farms in cities would reduce the carbon footprint caused by shipping from far away farms. I wonder how the taste would compare from food grown indoors to that of food grown in the traditional method.

One comment

  1. Does the pot on my balcony with tomatoes growing in it count?