An estimated 80% of the earth’s population will live in cities by the year 2050, and to meet the increasing demand for food, urban vertical farms are sprouting up around the globe. Using vertical space to grow crops, vertical farms can produce 10x, 20x, 50x, even 100x (or more) food per acre than conventional farms. The sky is the limit!
Additionally, since vertical farms exist indoors, food production remains secure against harsh weather conditions, pests, contaminants, and can run 365 days of the year. There’s no question that vertical farms will play a large role in our quest to feed everyone on earth, now and into the future.
Here are 10 amazing vertical farms that exist around the world right now:
1. Rural Development Administration Vertical Farms – Suwon, South Korea
Driven by the threat of food shortages, researchers in South Korea have been experimenting with vertical farming to make the acquisition of food more secure for their country.
Although their experimental farm is only three-stories high, in the near future the sky will become the limit, as the technology expands to feed the entire nation.
2. Nuvege Vertical Farms – Kyoto, Japan
The Nuvege vertical farming operation in Kyoto, Japan is a 30,000 square feet, and uses 57,000 vertical square feet of growth environment within the same space.
According to their website, “Nuvege’s proprietary lighting network (NLN) uniquely increases the yield rate of vegetable growth by equalizing light emissions that also advance photosynthesis through increased levels of carbon dioxide.”
Nuvege grows lettuce products using their patented technology which makes them unaffected by erratic weather, climatic events, bacterial disease, and contaminants of any kind.
The resulting organic produce is extraordinarily healthy, and unmatched anywhere in the world for its quality and content.
3. Sky Greens Vertical Farms – Singapore
Sky Greens is Singapore’s first commercial vertical greenhouse and it produces an abundance of leafy green vegetables. Using sunlight as a source of energy, their design also uses captured rainwater to drive an intricately engineered pulley system which moves the plants along the grow racks, ensuring an even distribution of sunlight for all the plants.
4. Terrasphere Vertical Farms, Vancouver B.C.
Terrasphere grows lettuce and spinach inside an 8,000-square-foot warehouse using a soil-less hydroponic system using circulated water. Their high-efficiency LED lighting system nourishes plants grown on vertically-stacked shelves.
TerraSphere’s vertical farming technology is a highly efficient, automated plant production system that cost effectively grows crops in compact, safe, pollutant-free environments. It can be used to grow a variety of crops — from lettuce to tree seedlings to rare medicinal plants.
5. Plantagon Vertical Farms – Linköping, Sweden
This prototype building will be called the International Centre of Excellence for Urban Agriculture – a place for scientists to develop and test new technologies geared towards improving urban farming.
Inside the enormous glass walls, vegetables will be grown first in pots and then moved to trays positioned around a giant central helix. The plants grow as the trays migrate slowly down the central core and are ready for harvest once they reach the bottom.
The heating and cooling systems of the greenhouse will be run on biogas, harvested from plant residues and manure collected while the plants run their course.
6. The Plant Vertical Farms – Chicago, Illinois
Currently the largest vertical greenhouse in the United States, The Plant is housed in a 93,500 square foot post-industrial building in Chicago that was previously a meatpacking facility.
Not only do they produce arugula, basil, and sweet basil vinaigrette, but The Plant also grows mushrooms, brews beer and kombucha, and does it all using sustainable energy produced on site.
7. Vertical Harvest Vertical Farms – Jackson, Wyoming
Vertical Harvest is an innovative, sustainable agricultural business that will fill an increasing demand for locally grown, fresh produce by building a three-story, 13,500 sq ft hydroponics greenhouse in the heart of Jackson.
Vertical Harvest is a year round business that is creating private sector jobs, strengthening the bottom lines of businesses and establishing an innovative model that employs an under-served Wyoming population: adults with developmental disabilities.
The greenhouse will grow and sell locally grown vegetables to Jackson Hole restaurants, local grocery stores and directly to customers year-round, providing a stable, consistent source of produce at competitive prices.
8. Farmed Here Vertical Farms – Chicago, Illinois
Recognized as the first vertical farm of its kind in the United States, Farmed Here is a 90,000-square-foot plant producing factory about 15 miles from downtown Chicago.
Located in an abandoned warehouse, Farmed Here utilizes aquaponics and vertical farming technologies to produce arugula, four types basil, and a whole bevy-ful of fish.
Once the plant hits full production, they will be providing jobs to the local community and hope to produce annually 1 million pounds of leafy greens free of chemicals, herbicides and pesticides.
9. Green Spirit Vertical Farms – New Buffalo, Michigan
Green Spirit Farms uses multi-levelled Volksgarden Rotary Gardens, as well as multi-levelled tray systems to provide several harvests of locally-grown, sustainable produce.
Using their innovative Vertical Farming technology, Green Spirit Farms grows a variety of vegetables, herbs & fruits.
The Omega Garden technology uses significantly less water than conventional farming and typical hydroponic growing systems. The Green Spirit Farms Sustainable Vertical Farm eliminates agricultural runoff and associated soil erosion impacts, improving water quality by eliminating these primary sources of water pollution.
10. Green Sense Vertical Farms – Portage, Indiana
Green Sense Farms can grow fresh produce that can be distributed 20 million people, all within just 100 miles of their 30,000 square foot facility. Their LED lighting system means they use less energy, generate less heat, and create more of the color spectrum that the plants need.
Green Sense Farms grows a wide variety of plant foods, including Arugula, Nasturtium, Baby Romaine, Basil, Kale, Pea, Oak Leaf, Cilantro, Microgreens, Sunflower, Chervil, Chives, Dill, Mint, Oregano, Parsley, Sage, and Thyme.
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