Buildings in which food crops arc grown in

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buildings in which food crops arcgrown in environmentally controlledconditions. Situated in the heart ofurban centres, they would drasticallyreduce the amount of transportationrequired to bring food to consumers.Vertical farms would need to beefficient, cheap to construct andsafe to operate. If successfullyimplemented, proponents claim,vertical farms offer the promiseof urban renewal, sustainableproduction of a safe and variedfood supply (through year-roundproduction of all crops), and theeventual repair of ecosystems thathave been sacrificed for horizontalfarming.It took humans 10,000 years toThe concept of indoor farming islearn how to grow most of the cropsnot new, since hothouse productionwe now take for granted. Along theof tomatoes and other produce hasway, we despoiled most of the landbeen in vogue for some time. \A/hatwe worked, often turning verdant,is new is the urgent need to scalenatural ecozones into semi-aridup this technology to accommodatedeserts. \1Vithin that same time frame,another three billion people. Manywe evolved into an urban species, inbelieve an entirely new approach towhich 60% of the human populationindoor farming is required, employingnow lives vertically in cities. Thiscutting-edge technologies. One suchmeans that, for the majority, weproposal is for the 'Vertical Farm'.humans have shelter from theThe concept is of multi-storeyelements, yet we subject our food-
bearing plants to the rigours of thegreat outdoors and can do no morethan hope for a good weather year.However, more often than not now,due to a rapidly changing climate,that is not what happens. Massivefloods, long droughts, hurricanes andsevere monsoons take their toll eachyear, destroying millions of tons ofvaluable crops.The supporters of vertical farmingclaim many potential advantages forthe system. For instance, crops wouldbe produced all year round, as theywould be kept in artificially controlled,optimum growing conditions. Therewould be no weather-related cropfailures due to droughts, floods orpests. All the food could be grownorganically, eliminating the need forherbicides, pesticides and fertilisers.The system would greatly reduce theincidence of many infectious diseasesthat are acquired at the agriculturalinterface. Although the system wouldconsume energy, it would returnenergy to the grid via methanegeneration from composting non-edible parts of plants. It would alsodramatically reduce fossil fuel use,by cutting out the need for tractors,ploughs and shipping.A major drawback of vertical farming,however, is that the plants wouldrequire artificial light. Without it,those plants nearest the windowswould be exposed to more sunlightand grow more quickly, reducing.. ''the efficiency of the system. Single-storey greenhouses have the benefitof natural overhead light: even so,many still need artificial lighting.

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Term
Summer
Professor
NoProfessor
Tags
falkirk wheel, Falkirk, Vertical farming

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