Vertical farms: Growing more food where people live

Vertical farming. It just makes sense to me.


BetterLife Growers will use ‘tower gardens’ like these to grow lettuce and herbs in Atlanta. PHOTO: SCISSORTAIL FARMS


The world’s population is expected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050, 33% more people than are on the planet today, according to projections from the United Nations. About two-thirds of them are expected to live in cities, continuing a migration that has been under way around the world for years.

That’s a lot of mouths to feed, particularly in urban areas. Getting food to people who live far from farms—sometimes hundreds or thousands of miles away—is costly and strains natural resources. And heavy rains, droughts and other extreme weather events can threaten supplies.

That’s how Betsy McKay of the Wall Street Journal summarized the case for urban commercial farms.

While there are questions about the business model and sustainability of early pioneers in the niche, to my mind, there is no question we simply must figure out a way to make the numbers work.

In addition to the food-energy-dollar factors, I’m hoping someone explores the opportunities for education and workforce development as well.

Vertical “factory farms” in warehouses may not have the visual appeal of Vermont’s rural working landscape, but from my albeit limited experience, the kale tastes just as good.

~ Pat

Source: A Farm Grows in the City, by Betsy McKay, Wall Street Journal