Vertical farming – What is good and what isn’t

   WHAT IS GOOD

. In traditional farming that takes place horizontally, acres and acres of land goes waste if the  produce fails. On the other hand, with Vertical Farming land is not an issue at all. As crops expand upward, land needed is much lesser. What if there is no land to spare at all? Not to worry. If you have an extra room inside your home that will do just fine. Like the landscape architect from Seattle who put his spare garage to good use by starting Vertical Farming.

. In #TraditionalFarming we hear woes of how a drought or floods caused misery in farmers. With vertical farming all the action takes place in a controlled environment, indoors. So inclement weather will never be a factor here. A lack of or excess rains will not hamper your produce. With vertical farming, large-scale production takes place. And all year round at that.

. #VerticalFarming is done without making use of any chemicals. No pesticides or fertilizer even. Thus the food that is produced in this manner is fresh and good for health as well. The worry of contaminated  manure is also taken out of the picture as Vertical farming can be done as well using techniques like #Hydroponics. No soil used in the process, no polluted irrigation water even.

. Vertical farming has the potential to reduce the effects of #GlobalWarming to a very large extent. Farms inside buildings in urban places will surely negate the harm of poisonous gases released by fossil fuels.Deforestation that is turning our green spaces into concrete jungles to sustain ever growing populations will come down.

. Maximum utilisation of available resources is one of the great attributes of Vertical farming. Abandoned buildings, warehouses, godowns and all such structures in urban settings can be converted  into efficient Vertical farms. Considerable time and money spent in transporting food thousands of
miles is saved.

. Water is a precious resource of our planet that is slowly but surely becoming scarce and it is not  out of the realm of possibility that one day there will be very little left. Vertical farming helps  recycle and reuse black water that would have otherwise have gone waste. Frugal consumption of water for farming is another big plus. Also sewage is converted to top soil that can then be processed   and used as drinking water.

WHAT ISN’T

. Depending on the kind of setup that is there in place, some forms of Vertical farming can require manual monitoring and are likely to be labour intensive. Vertical farming ensures there are no insects around a produce so pollination might be a bit worrisome. Things are moving gradually to a   mechanised form with vertical farming where you can be in a different location and yet use an App to keep an eye on your vertical farm. But not every farm is that advanced.

. A big drawback is that not all fruits and vegetables respond that well to farming in a controlled environment and some crops need a natural setting for growing purpose. But with agrarian techniques  related to vertical farming improving constantly even this is set to change. Which is why many crops  being grown today in Vertical farms are the very ones considered impossible to grow in artificial conditions.

. The big turnoff for many when it comes to Vertical Farming is the high costs that can be entailed in  the process. From procuring land in urban centers to use of LED lights to compensate for lack of adequate sunlight, if you do not plan your Vertical farm smartly, it can cost quite a bit.