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Vertical Farming

 
pollinator
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Wasn't sure where to put this.   

How do you feel about vertical farming being "the only way for us to sustainably and efficiently provide food for the world in the future"according to Dick Despommier, expert* on vertical farming.



http://inhabitat.com/review-amp-interview-the-vertical-farm-by-dick-despommier/vertical-farm-designs-1/?extend=1

*to my knowledge no vertical farm has ever been built so I'm not sure how someone can be an expert on something which doesn't exist.... 

 
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I'm not sure you'd call them vertical farms but Patric Blanc has done some amazing things to buildings in France, particularly Paris.
Kind of an odd looking duck with his green striped hair, green nail polish and green shoes.
 
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H Ludi Tyler wrote:

*to my knowledge no vertical farm has ever been built so I'm not sure how someone can be an expert on something which doesn't exist.... 



It can be done. All you need is a REALLY steep hillside, plow it, seed it, and you're vertically farming. Play your cards right and you can cultivate both sides of the same acre!

OK, I'm just being silly. But it seems maybe unreasonably dogmatic to say that vertical farming is the ONLY way we can do something. It is an idea with plenty of good urban applications. and the vertical is an important axis, often overlooked. It's just not the only axis

Ideally, we make use of all four axes (height, width, depth, temporal) in our designs order to bring forth an optimal yield.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Personally I would like to see someone actually MAKE a functioning Vertical Farm, instead of just talking about them for decades. 

Especially if they are the ONLY way to grow food sustainably! 
 
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Tyler Ludens wrote:Personally I would like to see someone actually MAKE a functioning Vertical Farm, instead of just talking about them for decades. 


A group in Brussels has completed an experiment — "the Farm" — to determine the viability of vertical farms.
Summary:  It costs €345 to grow enough wheat for a loaf of bread.  Simple extrapolation would suggest an annual grocery bill of over €125,000.  Per person.



Webite:  https://disnovation.org/farm.php
Article:  https://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2021/02/vertical-farming-ecosystem-services.html

Excerpts:

The vertical farms that have been commercially active for several years all focus on the same crops. These are agricultural products with a high water content, such as lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and herbs. However, these are not crops that can feed a city. They contain hardly any carbohydrates, proteins, or fats. To feed a city, it takes grains, legumes, root crops, and oil crops.

in Brussels - The Farm - explores what it would take to grow wheat in a vertical farm.

The experiment shows that growing 1m² of wheat in an artificial environment costs 2,577 kilowatt-hours of electricity and 394 liters of water per year.

The “farm” produces four harvests per year. With every harvest, enough wheat is grown to make one loaf of bread (580 grams), which has a cost of at least 345 euros. Each loaf contains 2,000 kilocalories, the amount that an average person needs per day. As a result, 91m² of artificially produced wheat is necessary for each person, with a total cost of 125,680 euros per year.



So, whilst vertical farms are visually appealing, and are a pretty interesting way to re-use abandoned multi-storey structures, the mere power and water costs involved in growing staples in such structures are — no other way to say it — absolutely absurd.  No-one I know would be willing (or able) to pay €345 for a loaf of bread.  Even if one nitpicks the experiment, waves some sort of magic wand, and manages to make it 10x as efficient, then you'd still be paying €34 for a loaf of bread.  There's no practical difference between the experiment (as conducted) and an operation that is 1000% as efficient — neither are economically viable.

tl;dr:  Vertical Farms cannot feed cities because:  Math.

</DataPoint>
 
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Sorry I did not read the article.

I am wondering if the article is about rows of trays inside buildings being called "vertical farming"?

Using hydroponics and aquaponics.

I thought I had read about a place out in west Texas that used this technique here on permies though I am not finding it.

A google search yielded at least three in Texas.

Eden Green Technology in Cleburne
Sustainable Harvester in Hockley
Green Wolf Verticle Farming

 
Robert Ray
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One of Blanc's gardens. I've never tried the "Kratky" method with legumes to address proteins but it appears to have some success. and I think could be incorporated into a vertical system. Square Poly tanks instead of barrels would make it easier.
patric-blanc.jpg
[Thumbnail for patric-blanc.jpg]
poly-water-tanks.jpg
[Thumbnail for poly-water-tanks.jpg]
 
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It's all highly contextual. For example, the most efficient and sustainable way for me to produce the vegetables that I consume would be in my backyard, not on a rooftop in the nearest major city which is 500+km away. For those living in an apartment block with a hydroponic vegetable farm on it's roof is different. The food grown as close to your door as possible is the winner for me.

Using the vertical space we've already created to grow food is a fantastic idea I think. Not an idea I'd label as 'sustainable' though.

My cousin is heavily involved with hydroponic roof farms throughout Africa. And the amount of outside resources that need to be transported in is huge. From nutrients to infrastructure, there are plenty of logistics involved that do NOT rely on 'sustainable' practices.

Building a vertical farm from scratch? Not really I solution that I see as practical.
Using the space we have already created for urban farming? Lovely idea. Even if it's just to get city folks involved in growing food.

And remember, the global food crisis is not an issue of production, it's an issue of distribution and accessibility.
 
Right! We're on it! Let's get to work tiny ad!
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https://permies.com/t/174246
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