Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone had access to a healthy, sustainable food source? We all know fresh is best when it comes to the fruit, vegetables, and greens we put on our plates. Yet, we increasingly rely on processed foods while shopping for our daily meals.
While a few of us are lucky enough to live in rural areas, where fresh produce is abundant, most of the produce that ends up on our plates travels for thousands of food miles to get there. The problem is the ever-decreasing amount of arable land available for agriculture.
The solution is simple—grow your own food with urban vertical farming.
What is Urban Vertical Farming?
Simply put, vertical farming means stacking crops on top of one another instead of side-by-side like in conventional farming. This means you can grow more food in a smaller area.
You can also install a vertical farm indoors, so you don’t need an outdoor space to grow fresh vegetables. You can do it inside your restaurant or business, ensuring a constant supply of healthy food for your table.
An indoor hydroponic garden uses soil-less farming, relying instead on a water-based mineral nutrient solution to nourish the plants. Materials like grains, pebbles, bark chips, rice husks, and coconut coir act as the substrate for the plants.
Other types of soil-less vertical gardens use aquaponic or aeroponic growing mediums. Thanks to these carefully regulated sustainable farming practices, you can ensure a steady supply of leafy greens for your culinary business without having to leave the premises.
Vertical Farming is Sustainable
Since vertical farming saves you a trip to the supermarket, it automatically helps reduce your carbon footprint. There are quite a few other sustainable benefits associated with this type of gardening.
Vertical Farming Has No Impact on Groundwater
In general, significant agricultural concerns involve the use of artificial fertilizers and pesticides to maximize yields. These substances leach into the soil and make their way into our water systems when it rains.
Indoor vertical farming is much more environmentally friendly than alternatives that involve these harmful chemicals. Since it’s a closed system, it has significantly less impact on other ecosystems.
It’s a Water-Wise Solution
When a farmer irrigates their crops, a large amount of water ends up in the dead space between the rows of plants. Some of it runs off, and some of it evaporates.
This means farmers use more water to get the same result you could achieve in a closed hydroponic grow system, where every drop of water you use benefits your plants.
How much water does vertical farming save? Studies show that hydroponic farming uses 95% less water than conventional methods.
Reducing Farming’s Carbon Footprint
There’s no heavy machinery involved in urban vertical farming, and there’s no road or air transport necessary to get produce to your table. This means no fossil fuels and no exhaust fumes are indirectly involved in this type of farming.
Outside pests remain blissfully unaware of your indoor gardening activities, so you’ll never have to use pesticides to protect your crops. Not only is this a more cost-effective way to grow crops, but it’s also a lot safer and healthier too.
It’s Safer for Man and Beast
With no heavy machinery or pesticides to contend with, farming your food vertically is safe. Another benefit is that there’s no loss of habitat for indigenous species with vertical farming.
Adverse weather conditions can wreak havoc on crops grown outdoors. Incidents like drought, flooding, and storms can damage or destroy crops, leading to shortages and high prices. Ideally, everyone would have food sovereignty and be able to maintain access to healthy food sources.
Indoor cultivation remains unaffected by these factors related to climate change, and doesn’t contribute to them either. With an indoor micro-farm and controlled environment, you’re sure to have a constant supply of fresh produce no matter what the weather brings.
As a result, vertical farms yield about 133 times as much food per square foot as their outdoor counterparts.
Farming for the Future
The future of vertical farming looks promising when one considers the renewed focus on sustainable land use, as well as the conservation of natural resources.
A scarcity of arable land, unpredictable weather patterns, water shortages, and increasing populations mean that conventional agriculture won’t be able to keep up with the demand for food in years to come. Vertical farms are the ultimate way to overcome these obstacles and ensure healthy, fresh food in the future.
When you’re in control of the produce you eat, you have no doubt about its origins, no concerns about nutrients lost during transportation and storage. As people embrace a newfound focus on healthy eating for optimum wellness, urban vertical farming is sure to take off.
There’s no doubt that large-scale adaptation of sustainable micro-farms can make a significant contribution to the future food security of people everywhere. This is especially true due to the ever-increasing urbanization of mankind.
Slowly, legislators are waking up to the benefits of sustainable farming options, with bills like the Farm Bill placing more emphasis on organic practices and other environmentally friendly practices like vertical farming. It’s only a matter of time before urban vertical farming becomes the norm as our cities’ populations rise.
Thanks to modern technology, you don’t need any specialized skills to take up vertical farming. Companies like Babylon Micro-Farms can help you set everything up and manage your vertical farm remotely for optimum performance.
Getting on Board with Urban Farming
To recap, the benefits of an indoor hydroponic garden include:
If you’d like to find out how you can reap the benefits of sustainable farming practices wherever you are, get in touch for more information about our leading vertical farming solutions.