Science and technology is leading the way to creative and fascinating farming techniques revolutionizing how we obtain our vegetables. Many advances involve growing food without soil, hydroponically, enabling more food to be grown in smaller spaces. Methodology is both convergent and diverse,but all designed to help us have a sustainable future with hyper fresh, healthy food delivered to our plates from local high tech farmers.
The challenge, getting fresh healthy food to urban dwellers, is being met by redefining the concept of farming. The iconic image of the “farmer” is changing from overalls to lab coats, for crops conducive to high tech high production growing methods.
City farms are designed and built for super hi yields per square foot of area and are producing just that. Imagine, a single tomato plant clipped to a string 10 foot high, producing producing and producing for 4 separate harvests. Now imagine that with rows of 1000 tomato plants.
Greenhouses utilizing precise lighting, calibrated nutrient delivery, temperature and humidity controls are being built in unlikely places like rooftops and parking garages. Check out GothamGreens projects in Chicago and New York. Smaller City Farms are sprouting up outside and inside restaurants, even inside grocery stores so that shoppers can harvest their own crops of lettuces, and herbs. These Large and small growing operations, can produce more than 4 times the yield of traditional land based farming operations with a much smaller footprint.
Want your own farm?
Vertical towers like those developed by product innovators Bright Agrotech can grow healthy produce right in your own home. Bright Agrotech is getting a lot of attention with their ZipGrow towers and a spin-off product called The Spring. The Spring is a vertical growing system with low costs and easy setup. A system perfect for restaurant, home use and farm IN store operations. With The Spring systems grocery stores can allow their customers to “havest their own” lettuces and herbs right from grow towers inside the store. The reasonably price “Spring” systems are perfect for home growers as well. The self contained system uses a reservoir with nutrient solution and a pump to circulate the nutrients to the top of the tower, bathing roots of fledgling plants as it trickles back to the reservoir. Growth rates are astounding and provide greens and herbs fresh for the pickin’.
Urban farming is more than fresh produce..it’s a movement gaining momentum. City farms can feed individual families, communities, schools, hospitals, and more in amazingly small spaces with leafy greens, berries, cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplant and herbs. It’s also a means for entrepreneurs to join the sustainable food industry by providing farms and farm services.
For more on this subject, look for our new post featuring FreightFarms, for information about creating your own business using a complete city farm system built inside a shipping container.. Coming soon…