The Ultimate Guide to Vertical Farming

What is Verticle farming?

Vertical farming is the way to produce food and medication in vertically piled layers, vertically inclined surfaces and/or incorporated into other structures such as a skyscraper, used warehouse or shipping container. The Modern concepts of vertical farming use techniques of indoor farming and technology of controlled-environment-farming (CEA), where many environmental factors can be regulated.

These facilities use artificial light power, climate regulates (humidity, temperature, gases) and fertilization. Vertical farming is related in many ways to greenhouses where natural sunlight is boosted by metal reflectors and artificial lighting. Vertical farming’s main objective is to maximize crop production in a limited space.

How Vertical Farming Works?

There are four critical areas in understanding how vertical farming works:

  • Physical layout.
  • Lighting.
  • Growing medium.
  • Sustainability features.

First, vertical farming’s primary objective is to produce more food per square meter. To achieve this goal, crops are grown in a tower life structure in stacked layers. Second, to maintain the perfect light level in the room, a perfect combination of natural and artificial lights is used. To enhance lighting efficiency, technologies such as revolving chairs are used.

Third, aeroponic, aquaponic or hydroponic growing materials are used instead of soil. In vertical farming, peat moss or coconut husks and similar non-soil mediums are very common. Finally, the vertical method of farming uses different sustainability features to offset farming’s energy cost. Vertical farming actually utilizes 95% less water.

What can you grow in your vertical farm?

You can develop practically anything with the correct hydroponic, aeroponic, or aquaponic farm set-up. However, just because you can do this doesn’t mean you should. When selecting the best crops for your vertical farm, consider the original aspects.

1. Economic viability:

Especially if you’re growing for profit, research the economy of the species that you have selected for your indoor farm.

A. Demand:

What is the demand in your area or the market you choose to serve for this crop? You may decide that both your families and your local society will benefit from your project.

B. Growing technique:

Although vertical farming techniques mean lowered overheads on average, your manufacturing expenses are determined by the quantity and specific system you use. These numbers will be kept as minimal as possible.

C. Climate:

Different machines have climatic requirements (heating, cooling, and lighting), which may require a separate space. Consider if you have the proposal for your chosen hardware design for space and activities.

2. Timing and liability:

It takes time for all good things — patience is a necessary element of indoor farming. This truth is embodied in what is referred to as a’ turn’ in farming. A turn is the total amount of time it takes to introduce a seed or seedling into the farm system, grow it, and harvest it as a mature plant for market sale or serving on your plate.

You can choose to grow two types of crops: fast turning crops and slow turning crops. You can choose either one or both for your vertical farm, depending on your increasing cause, wants, and demands.

Fast-turn crops include lettuce, chard, collard greens, mustard greens, parsley, cilantro, mint, chives, basil, and a variety of microgreens. They’re usually producing for up to six weeks.

Typically, slow turning crops are harder to grow but have a higher income margin compared to leafy greens. This includes’ woody’ herbs such as oregano and rosemary and crops such as strawberries and tomatoes. For a beginner grower, a good guide is to plant 80% greens and 20% Herbs.

Vertical farming advantages and disadvantages:

Vertical farming has a lot of dedication and appears like a potential farm. However, before moving full-speed ahead into vertical farming, there are a few stumbling blocks to consider.

Advantages:

  • It offers a plan to handle future food demands
  • It allows crops to grow year-round
  • It uses significantly less water
  • Weather doesn’t affect the crops
  • More organic crops can be grown
  • There is less exposure to chemicals and disease

Disadvantages:

  • It could be very costly to build and economic feasibility studies haven’t yet been completed
  • Pollination would be very difficult and costly
  • It would involve higher labor costs
  • It relies too much on technology and one day of power loss would be devastating

Conclusion

The techniques for vertical farming are still relatively recent. Companies still have to generate crops effectively on a scale and make it economically viable to satisfy the growing requirement of food. Farms such as AeroFarms efficiency will determine how essential a vertical farming function will be to meet the task of increasing food supply in the future.