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Apr 5, 2010 04:35 AM

Vertical Farming

Has anyone heard of the Vertical Farming project? It's supposed to be the new form of agriculture that will be used in the future. I have read a fair amount about it and I emailed a professor from Columbia University that is involved but he wouldn't tell me much...any thoughts?

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  1. It's an idea to create agricultural centers (or farms) in urban centers. A buddy of mine did one for his architecture thesis project a couple years ago. The idea being that hydroponics and sustainable practices can be applied to a skyscraper structure that is zoned at different heights for different systems. In theory the vertical farm would reduce grocery costs in cities over time because a) sustainable systems would keep utility costs down and b) transportation cost is eliminated (another issue of sustainability). It would also perhaps mean fresher produce where it is otherwise hard to get. Until one is financed and built, it's hard to know just how successful they can really be though. I personally like the idea, but there are lots of questions about them. I think that Columbia University prof did an interview with Stephen Colbert a year or so ago and discussed vertical farms. If you search the Colbert Report website you might be able to find the video of it.

    1. Listen to Robert Kennedy Jr. Explain it to us... "I can't think of any technology that addresses more urgent issues than Valcent's vertical farming system", says RFK Jr

      And watch this video of the only real vertical farming system working today.... Reuters Video features Valcent's VertiCrop vertical farming system:

      1. There's a documentary that came out a couple of years ago about farming in Germany, in particular vertical farms. It's pretty amazing stuff.

        5 Replies
        1. re: mnosyne

          In the city of Detroit the abandoned housing rate is so high that some areas are reverting back to empty land. Some people have proposed the idea of developing urban farms their to relieve hunger. I don't think this idea has really taken off though.

          1. re: syrup09

            I have been to Detroit several times over the last couple of years. Urban farms are thriving in Detroit and local activists are doing their part to "bring the country back into the city." Here's an example of an urban farm I visited.


          2. re: mnosyne

            The documentary is called "Our Daily Bread". Aside from the factory farming aspect, there are some pretty tough animal scenes, so if you see it, be prepared.

            1. re: mnosyne

              any idea what the name of the film is?

            2. There's some info about it in this article from Mother Jones, an examination of whether some of our firmly held beliefs will have to be readjusted as our world becomes more urbanized.
              Some provocative reading.

              1. Lots of neat stuff popped up with this search thread: