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Thursday, July 02, 2009

Vertical Farming for Dummies

I think we have talked about Vertical Farming on the blog before. I am not sure why architects think they know what they are doing with this. Architects are not horticulturists, economists, climatologists, energy modellers, or anything that would really qualify them to make feasible models for vertical farming. What futurist sparked this idea and why is it so alluring to people?

It's the same as saying, "I think we should build farms for land plants in the ocean, because there's so much open space in the ocean." Only a few of them concede that the enormous energy costs for artificial sunlight will prohibit the idea from becoming a reality. Not to mention energy for transportation, water treatment/irrigation, fertilization, pest control, harvest/storage and the myriad of other things that would be made more complicated by turning a flat farm into a vertical farm. A horizontal farm in naturally fertile farmland is using as many natural advantages as possible to increase efficiency. Creating inefficient models doesn't really solve problems, even if someday energy is a near-free resource like solar, wind, or fusion.

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