That ses to be the goal. It sounds more sustainable than our current form of agriculture, which is to clear as much land as possible to mass produce crops. It would also make for more sustainable cities, as less food would have to be brought in on gas guzzling trucks. If trees are planted on the land we’ve cleared for agriculture, we might have a good shot at sucking back up some of that carbon we’ve been producing so much of in our agricultural pursuits.
The primary goal of vertical farming, as I understand it, is to enable cities to produce more of their own food, reduce the horizontal acres of land that is dedicated to food production. However, vertical farming in and of itself doesn’t mean that the methods of growing food–use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides– will change. If you define sustainable as the capacity to endure or to sustain indefinately, it seems unlikely to me that vertical farms–an entirely human created environment–would achieve a sustainable form of agriculture. Think of the Biosphere2 experiment; the best of science and the human mind could not recreate the complexity and resiliencd of the earth’s natural systems.
Well there are many “dreams” about what a vertical farm might be. Wonderful futuristic drawings of multi-million dollar farmscrapers and the like. I think none of thsoe ideas will be “sustainable” in the dollars and cents department. But there is today a vertical farmign system that is proving economically valid, recycles water and organic waste 100%, using less than 5% water comparred to outdoor farming, is completely closed loop with no need for herb/fung/pesticides. That to me is the gist of “sustainability”. The system is called VertiCrop by Valcent Products. Check it out and let me know what you think: http://twitter.com/ValcentProdInc
Here’s what J F Kennedy Jr. thinks of it: “I can’t think of any technology that addresses more urgent issues than Valcent’s vertical farming system”, says RFK Jr http://bit.ly/cPb00g
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