Curiosity, Research, Testing, & the Application of Urban Vertical Farming Technology
“All the wonders you seek are within yourself.” – Thomas Browne
With the exponential growth of technology, reduction in material & production costs (i.e. China) and the further connecting of the extended silk supply chain road combined with more research, testing, and further application of new technologies within the food industry, it is safe to assume that technology will continue to lead the change. In other words, we have a very special opportunity to drive change in the direction that benefits us as a society, humanity, and community.
Making money is one thing but it will only bring you short term rewards and leave you more empty inside than you previously thought. Therefore, it is important to reflect and reevaluate the system that drives us towards personal growth.
This is how I see Eat Your Microgreens. I see this as a personal growth that started and continues with the same formula: curiosity, research, testing, and application all bounded by a sustainable approach that is based on circularity principles to produce the most nutrient fresh organic food possible.
A transition towards such a food future requires a system change, and thus it is not something that happens overnight but requires popular support. Therefore, many passionate attempts must be made before the few push progress forward. Local fresh food producers are the pioneers in the local food transition and essential in each country having any sense of food security. The costs are high but the rewards are even greater, especially when you bring up climate change and the havoc it has already created in many of our traditional farms, together with the concentration and oligopoly control for food staples.
To give you a more complete picture of just one of the themes that we touch upon, such as Urban Vertical Farming (it is more easy to describe an urban environment as a densely populated city, village or community but of course it is relative)
1. Shift towards Vertical Farming
Urban farming has undergone a significant transformation with the rise of vertical farming. Traditional horizontal farming faces challenges in urban spaces where land is limited. Vertical farming leverages vertical space, allowing crops to be cultivated in stacked layers. This innovative approach optimizes land use, making it feasible to integrate farming into urban environments.
2. Integration of Technology
The evolution of urban farming is closely tied to technological advancements. Smart sensors, automation, and precision agriculture technologies are now integral to urban farming systems. These technologies enable real-time monitoring of environmental conditions, water usage, and nutrient levels, optimizing crop growth and resource efficiency.
3. Hydroponics and Aeroponics
Hydroponic and aeroponic systems have become popular in urban farming due to their efficiency in resource utilization. These soil-less cultivation methods deliver nutrients directly to the plants' roots, minimizing water usage and reducing the need for arable land. The controlled environment ensures consistent and high-quality crop yields.
4. LED Lighting Advancements
LED lighting has played a crucial role in the evolution of urban farming. Energy-efficient LED grow lights simulate natural sunlight, providing the necessary light spectrum for plant growth. The advancements in LED technology have significantly reduced energy costs, making indoor farming economically viable.
I also have recently written an article about the importance of lighting and its optimal applications for growing microgreens.
In addition, the reduction in materials and production can also be broken down in a similar, given the following factors:
1. Affordable Infrastructure
Traditional perceptions of urban farming requiring expensive infrastructure have shifted. The availability of cost-effective materials such as lightweight structures, recycled containers, and modular farming units has democratized urban farming. Entrepreneurs and community groups can now establish farms without massive upfront investments.
2. Open-Source and DIY Solutions
The open-source movement has contributed to the affordability of urban farming. DIY (Do It Yourself) solutions and shared knowledge within the urban farming community have led to the creation of low-cost, accessible technologies. This democratization of information empowers individuals to set up their own urban farming initiatives.
3. Recycled and Upcycled Components
Sustainable practices extend to the use of recycled and upcycled materials in urban farming setups. From repurposed shipping containers to recycled building materials, the emphasis on environmental responsibility further reduces the overall cost of infrastructure. This aligns with circular economy principles, contributing to a more sustainable urban agriculture model.
4. Economies of Scale
As urban farming gains popularity, economies of scale come into play. Larger-scale production and widespread adoption lead to reduced costs for materials and equipment. This, in turn, makes urban farming more financially feasible for a broader range of individuals and organizations.
The Future Landscape
The evolving landscape of urban farming, driven by vertical technology and cost-effective solutions, paints a promising picture for sustainable agriculture in urban environments. As technology continues to advance and community-driven initiatives thrive, urban farming is poised to become an integral part of local food systems, promoting food security, environmental stewardship, and community engagement. The fusion of innovation, accessibility, and sustainability in urban farming is reshaping how we envision and approach food production in urban spaces.
The journey from curiosity to nutrient-rich fresh organic food is a dynamic process guided by sustainable principles and circular thinking. This holistic approach not only addresses the immediate need for healthy food, such as microgreens but also ensures the long-term viability of our agricultural systems, fostering a harmonious relationship between humanity and the environment that supports us.