Just as our buildings grow taller, agriculture is following suit. Why? Because it saves water, soil, and space. Vertical farming is the method of growing food on upright surfaces like walls or shelves. Instead of farming on fields, crops are stacked in layers.
Vertical farming has a lot of benefits and potential to solve global food crises. Here are our top ten trends in the realm of vertical farming. We also suggest you listen to podcast episodes to understand application, technology, and uses of vertical farming better.
1. The Current Situation of Vertical Farming
If you don’t know much about the current situation of vertical farming, we suggest that you listen to this podcast. This episode of Produce Talks gives an insight into the current trends and biggest vertical farming companies today.
This podcast does not talk about the technical terms and processes of vertical farming. This episode is perfect, to begin with, if you are new to vertical farming.
This podcast features Greg Veinot- Manager of Business Development for GoldLeaf Farms. Here, he talks about the basics of vertical farming and how it can impact the future of the food industry. Listen to the podcast here.
2. Making the Food Nutrient Rich
The biggest challenge is to grow plants more efficiently and sustainably in an indoor environment. Moreover, the growers do not want plants to grow short of nutrients. Growers work tirelessly to improve the quality of leafy greens.
Food Navigator-USA’s Soup-To-Nuts Podcast addresses various climate problems, as well as health and food concerns. This episode features an interview with two renowned personalities in the world of indoor farming: Jenna Bell, VP of nutritional science at Crop One, and Dean Falcone, Chief Scientific Officer for indoor farming. In this podcast episode, Bell explains how her organization is managing to grow nutritionally dense greens all year.
Producing nutrient-rich foods through vertical farming is necessary to meet customers’ growing demand for healthy local food. The key to producing nutrient-dense crops is to provide plants with a tightly controlled environment that’s optimal for growth.
Bell and Falcone explain how Crop One Farm is able to provide perfect conditions for vertical farming. They use advanced technology and multiple harvest systems to optimize growing conditions for crops. If you want to listen further and learn about sustainability and market potential of vertical farming, click here.
3. Proving that Vertical Framing is Better than Land Farming
Vertical farming is still very new to the masses and has a long way to go. Mankind has been eating and earning from land farming for many centuries. So accepting vertical farming is not going to be quick and easy for many peoples.
It is harder for people with a conservative mindset to appreciate the benefits of vertical farming. As if the challenges of vertical farming are not enough, one of the biggest problems is making it convenient and available to farmers and the local population.
In this episode of GreenTech Podcast, Maren Schoormans talks to Henry Gordon and Thomas Zoellner. Henry Gordon is the founder and CEO of Agritechture. Thomas Zoellner is the Secretary-General for Farm Tech Society and Vice Chairman of Agriculture Association of Vertical Farming. Mariska Dreschler- a GreenTech manager, also makes a guest appearance and shares her insightful thoughts on this topic.
In this podcast episode, the guests talk about the current situation of vertical farming. The shift from conventional farming to profitable urban farming is slowly accelerating. Although the growth of vertical farming culture is slow, it is promising. Vertical farming can have a meaningful impact on urban food security.
Zoellner compares the American and European approaches to urban farming. He admits that the US is ahead in its game of vertical farming than the EU. He says that people in the US are willing to invest in new and innovative projects where there are certain risks involved. On the other hand, Europeans like to play safe and so are less keen on investing in vertical farming.
If you want to know more about the challenges of vertical farming and ways to overcome it, listen to the podcast here.
4. Saving Energy Consumption in Vertical Farming
Vertical farming is the future of agriculture and food production. It is the best way to make use of vacant spaces, semi agricultural, or any type of limited enclosed space. It is the ultimate answer to questions surrounding agricultural problems due to climate change. However, vertical farming has much higher energy expenditure than land farming. It is necessary to find ways to cut down on the energy cost if you are to benefit from vertical farming methods.
In this episode of Green Tech Media podcast, Logan Ashcraft talks about the energy consequences of vertical farming. Logan Ashcraft is an indoor agriculture expert. She has conducted extensive research on how an indoor agriculture system’s energy setup operates.
For vertical farming, the LED lights are on for 18 hours. There is a monstrous load during the day time. The growers have to provide an appropriate amount of light in the day and night growing cycles of the plants.
During the night time, growers can turn off the lights for 4- 6 hours. They can optimize growing cycles in a way that allows the cheapest light expenditure on the electricity grid. Also, using solar energy for vertical farming can significantly reduce a vertical farm’s energy cost in the long run.
Find out more ways to maximize energy inputs for indoor farming in this podcast episode.
5. A New and Exciting Area of Research
As vertical farming is on the rise, it demands a lot of research for further development. There is a need for innovative use of technology to come up with cost-effective and convenient indoor agricultural technology. However, very little research is available on the technology on vertical farming.
While many podcasts talk about the benefits, trends, and future possibilities of vertical farming, here, we have something different. This podcast episode of the Association of Vertical Farming explores research areas for vertical farming.
Dr. Sally Rockey is Executive Director at the Foundation for Food and Agriculture. In this podcast episode, she talks about how vertical farming is a useful and exciting area for research.
The growth patterns and interactions of plants change when they grow in controlled environments. This can provide scientists with new discoveries about plants that we don’t know yet. Listen to the podcast episode here.
6. Indoor Smart Gardens for Homes
Many people believe that vertical farming does not look aesthetic. It stands nowhere when compared to the beautiful lush gardens and farms. It is true that the sole purpose of vertical farming was to grow maximum food in less space. But it does not mean that you cannot use this technique to have beautiful gardens. When you use small boxes for different plants and flowers, you can make vertical farming look very beautiful.
The concept of vertical or hydroponic farming can be very useful for people who want to maintain gardens and indoor plants in limited space. People living in a studio or small apartments can incorporate the technique of vertical gardens into smart indoor gardens.
In this podcast episode of Urban Farm, Edward Griffin talks about ways to create simple and attractive indoor gardens. Edward Griffin is a young entrepreneur and creator of the Lyfbox app. This app helps people monitor and alter the growing conditions of home-based plant and fish farms.
Listen to this podcast to find tips and methods to create your smart indoor garden.
7. Hydroponic Container Garden
Many people are skeptical about growing crops in a limited space. However, there is a significant advantage to it. When you have less space, you tend to use it more efficiently.
Hydroponic gardening in a shipping container is gaining popularity among many home growers. A hydroponic container garden is an ultimate solution to grow your own organic fruits and vegetables, costing you very little.
In this podcast episode, farmer and business owner Heather Szymura tells us everything we need to know about a hydroponic container garden. Her husband has severe food allergies due to which he couldn’t enjoy wholesome natural fruits and vegetables. Heather explains how the shipping containers she began using for farming helped her and her husband. She and her husband also sell their fresh grown vegetables to several restaurants.
If you are interested in growing in a hydroponic container garden, do listen to this episode of Urban Farm. Here, you will learn the necessary tips and tricks to grow any kind of produce you want.
8. Vertical Farm in a Kitchen Appliance
The concept of indoor farming is becoming innovative, cost-effective, and a convenient passing time. From using mobile apps to small robots, young entrepreneurs and companies are making the best use of technology to make vertical farming better.
One of the recent advancements in vertical farming is nano farms. Nano farms take the concept of vertical farming ahead by providing the same benefits in a single appliance. Nano farms are not commercially common till yet. However, the company Nanofarm provides a smart machine that you can use to produce your own food.
In this podcast episode, you will get to hear about this exciting type of farming from two guests. Ruwan Subasinghe is the creator of Nanofarms. The other guest, Costas Simoglou, is the director of the Centre of Innovation for Energy and Technology.
Ruwan talks about the struggles and failures he had on the way before Nanofarm. He explains how the appliance works and its benefits. Costas tells that he is impressed with Ruwan’s creation of Nanofarm. Learn about how Nanofarm works here.
9. Aeroponic- Next Generation Vertical Framing
If you think that Vertical Farming is the newest trend in farming, you are wrong. Vertical Framing is getting better day by day. There are other advanced types of farming evolving. Aeroponics is the process of growing plants in air and mist. NASA came up with the idea of aeroponics for astronauts to grow food in space.
This episode of the podcast by Radio MD talks a great deal about aeroponics. Health coach Arthur Field shares his three-year experience in aeroponic farming.
The only downside of aeroponic farming is that you can’t grow root vegetables with it. Otherwise, it is effective for growing beans, tomatoes, leafy greens, and other foods.
Listen to the podcast episode to find more about aeroponic farming.
10. The Future of Vertical Farming
Now, as we have discussed different trends, it all comes down to the future of vertical farming. We can predict a lot about what vertical farming has in store for the big names and local population. But it is better to have an expert’s take of what the future is likely to be.
Aron Neidleham is the co-founder and CEO of One Health Ag. He is an advocate for healthy and cleaner food. His mission is to elevate food sources for the local population. He has conducted extensive research on farming, urban farming, and other sources of food production.
If you want to learn more about indoor farming, you should definitely listen to this podcast. Aron differentiates between the commonly confusing terms: glasshouse, greenhouse, and indoor farming. Despite the differences, all these methods have one thing in common, the controlled environment for plant growth.
Growing low-cost salad greens from vertical farming can be expensive, considering the amount of energy expenditure. While big companies can overcome the hurdles of high cost, small plant companies may use more simple and innovative approaches. Instead of confining the whole system to the indoor environment, they may use a combination of artificial and natural light sources.
As we will see, different scales of companies setting up vertical farming, there will be a change in the procedures. There will be innovations and alterations to suit different budgets, cultures, dietary requirements, and etc. Listen to this episode of the podcast ‘Forming the Future’ to find what the future beholds for vertical farming.
When a lot is being put on vertical farming, the growers must ensure that there is no compromise on the quality. Sure, indoor farming has a myriad of benefits, but we must not deny the challenges that come with it.
As different scales of companies begin vertical farming, there are going to be alterations and innovations in the process. However, vertical farming still has to overcome the high expenditure of artificial light and energy.