Friday, December 17, 2010

Vertical Farming: The Coolest Idea Ever

The Economist recently ran a fascinating article (plus a great interview) about the feasibility of vertical farming.  Although plain-old rooftop farming is probably a more cost-effective approach for now, architects and designers have been going nuts creating amazing concepts for high-tech vertical farms.  This idea is exciting because it seems very possible: sustainable farming pioneers like Growing Power in Wisconsin and Polyface Farms in Virginia have already demonstrated the stunning efficiency improvements of vertically stacking different food production systems.

Vertical farming would be an important step towards decoupling food production from the requirements of land, soil, weather, etc.  Being able to grow food in a closed room is critical to achieving the long-term goal of exploring and colonizing space, and widespread vertical farming would teach us a lot about growing food in confined spaces.  The recent boom in green roof construction can be seen as early steps toward full-fledged vertical farms.  Here's hoping!

1 comment:

  1. Although not necessarily with this post, I am consistently impressed by the readability of this blog.